(Originally posted Aug. 20, 2010)

Well, folks, this summer marks a major milestone in my life: I have finally earned my Master’s Degree. As some of you know, in addition to being a pretty good cartoonist, I am also I certified Art Teacher. (This identity is known only to my friends, family, and anyone who bothered to read the “About” page.) Two years ago, I decided that I wanted to become certified to teach computers as well. I remembered that some of my friends and colleagues had recommended the Instructional Technology program at Duquesne University. I started my application in the late spring and I was ready to start my first classes in the fall.

Since I began graduate school, I filled every available slot in my schedule with classes. Like most grad students, I took summer classes and worked year-round so I could earn my degree faster. I was also teaching full time, so I was kept pretty busy. (Did anyone read my long rant last March, about how I was too tied up to hit any of the comic conventions?)

Admittedly, I did not need to take the web design class in order to graduate, but that class was well worth my time, don’t you think?

Actually, all of the IT classes were pretty good. The program was well laid out and nothing we did felt like a waste of my time. All of the teachers and administrators were extremely helpful and supportive. (I would feel pretty guilty if I wrote this whole blog and did not give some praise to the hard-working folks who kept it going.)

This summer, I took my last class, The Practicum Course. For this final class, the students had to complete several major projects, which would exemplify everything we learned in the last two years. It was like taking a class entirely composed of final exams. It was easily the hardest class I had ever taken in my college career. It was the boss battle of classes. But after many sleepless nights and countless cans of Red Bull, I turned in the last of my projects roughly two hours before the final deadline, and then I slept for about a week. (I woke up only long enough to update this website. I’ve never missed an update!)

I am proud to say that all of my hard work and last minute scrambling earned me an “A” in the class (there were days when I wondered if I would graduate at all) and I exited the program with straight A’s, except for one A minus. (That A minus should bother me, but it doesn’t. It was a tough class.)

Now I go out into the real world, to see what doors this new Master’s Degree will open for me. Don’t worry, loyal readers. Although I now hold an M.S., I will continue to draw talking animals and telling myself how clever I am. (Bragging is part of my creative process. Why else to you think I just wrote all of this?)

– Marj