The last time I selected this subject line was roughly six years ago, as I met an unceremonious end to my time in the (then labeled) Rehabilitation Counseling and Psychology program at the University of North Carolina. A crushing blow, and one from which I was not sure I would recover. But it pleases me now to use that same subject line to announce completion of my Master’s program at the Knight School of Communication at Queens University of Charlotte! Well ok technically speaking, I have a presentation in which I must participate tomorrow, but it is largely informal. The real hard stuff, (i.e. that all-consuming Capstone project) is officially behind me though.

If you would like to get a sense of some of the coursework and such I completed along the way, view my Digital Portfolio, wherein I even included a fun video of me taken on campus by a kind student. (It was fun working out how to get that from her phone to mine, but I did). Getting it done showed me how resourceful and good at networking I have now become, though.

What is next? Well, I’m not entirely sure, other than what I posted in the previous entry. On relocating to the Triangle, I want to find a job perhaps on a college campus or with a nonprofit of some sort. I’m betting though that I will first have to return to the sheltered workshop there, as I am currently working at its sister location in Charlotte just to keep the account balance above 0.

RELATED: Job Days No. 5

With this dough, I must fund at least some of the remaining wedding expenses, as well as a hopefully relaxing short trip to somewhere like the Wrightsville Beach resort we visited a couple years ago. We’re thinking the longer more spectacular trip will take place later, but a couple days away still sounds grand. After all, she is celebrating completion of a dissertation, which I know is something I will probably not even attempt.

And what will I do with my time now? Well probably more of the same thing I’ve already been doing with it, lots of reading. I’ve already surpassed 50 books this year, I think because strangely the more stressed I become and crazier my life gets the more I wish to slide into the pages. I haven’t really analyzed which types of books I’ve most read this year, as that part will come at the end. But I bet I can get in four more titles before this month, with all of its holiday parties, draws to a close.

Finally, how do I feel about this achievement? Well, it’s oddly sort of anticlimactic, but I’ll likely get the full hit once I receive my diploma, which the school is supposed to mail out over the holiday break. It definitely removed a big ol’ ugly monkey from my back, as ever since I spent time as a Ronald E. McNair Summer Research Intern, I have desired to do what that program most aimed to help us complete and receive a post-Bachelor’s degree. So I am confident now that this has been done. Now to make it, and the not-insignificant student loan debt incurred along the way, worthwhile. But it’s a gamble one takes if one wishes to advance not only his life, but as I’ve always said, the lives of many others. We shall see how everything plays out.

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