I just finished my last World War I paper, and even though I still have half of my final exams to grade before I sleep, I think now is the time to announce: I got my MA degree in English yesterday. I gave the committee (three professors) my paper in advance, and we talked about it, and we talked about my plans for the next few quarters and longer-term, and they shook my hand and I had a Masters degree.
What’s funny about getting an MA degree, at least here, is that it basically means that…I have an MA degree. Not much more than that, really. They’ve confirmed that I can keep on working, that my next objective is the qualifying exams. But it doesn’t really change my status. The MA exam is not an exam at all; it’s a pitstop on the Irvine 500.
But I do have an advanced degree now. I will be answering the question “What’s the highest level of education you’ve achieved?” differently on surveys and job applications. Not that I’ll be filling out many job applications, because, y’know, I’ll be at this for a while longer.
And with that I had better get back to work, because in less than 12 hours I leave for the airport to go to France and see my girlfriend. And that’s on par with an MA degree, I can say from experience.