A new stage approaches and a smile emerges

by Mr. Sheehy

I am in the final stretches of requirements for finishing graduate school, and thankfully none of them involve writing a large paper.

Later this week I plan to post a survey of literature concerning portfolios. I discovered some intriguing bits of information — ironic bits to find as I polish up my own portfolio for defense before a panel of possibly-interested professors.

The celebration has yet to begin, but I have already sensed the transition into the next stage of life.

The first giveaway is that I am experiencing the same desires I had when I finished undergrad. At the time, I looked forward passionately to that day when I’d get to read what I wanted to read, not what had been assigned. I wasn’t eager to read candy-novels, but instead to read things I’d missed and never had time to cover — things like Great Expectations and a full biography of John Keats.

Once again, I have longed to read. I want a plot, something beautiful in artistry, and this weekend it began, at least in part. I cracked open The Kite Runner, and while I’m not finding that level of artistic beauty I’d like (I hope to comment more on that later), I have found a plot. And that feels good. I may read more tonight, which would make it three days in a row where I read something with a plot. Ah . . . and this is just the beginning.

The other note of transition is the big ballet recital this week. Eldest is across the street at the civic center practicing right now in her full ladybug costume, and I’ll head from this article straight over there to hang out with the rest of my family while she dances. This morning she was so excited about dressing up and rehearsing that she woke up at 5:55 — a solid hour and a half before her usual time.

When I entered this grad school program, I justified the timing and the quick pace (I will have finished all the credits in less than two years) by pointing out that I wanted to finish before our kids hit the activity-stage of their lives. How perfect, then, that one week after dotting my final major paper with its final period, we are spending the week heading to dress rehearsals for our family’s first big event.

That must mean I’m moving on, and I like it.

Thanks for reading.