Finally a Graduate!

December 15, 2012

That is the day that I walked across the stage to receive my degree!

Walking across the stage
Walking across the stage

I enrolled in my first three LIS courses in August of 2011 and went to school full-time for four semesters, while also working full-time. It was a LOT of work but well worth it. I can’t be more proud of myself and relieved that it is finally over.

I have met new friends and had a lot of fun networking, and I will never forget the people who kept me going when all I wanted to do was get more sleep! 🙂

My amazing husband
My amazing husband

First, I want to thank my amazing husband. Without you supporting my idea to get my Master’s I don’t think I could have done it! Also, thank you for putting up with the long nights of studying and calming me during comps. You are the best friend, partner, and husband a woman could ever ask for. So thank you!

Good friends
Good friends

Thank you Sarah, Natasha, and Ariana for being awesome classmates. You all made class more interesting and bearable during long weeks of group projects and helped brainstorm paper ideas AND all of the proofreading and editing! You ladies are amazing and I would consider it an honor to continue to work and network with all of you!

A massive thank you to my friends who have put up with me cancelling plans and missing lunch dates because my paper “just isn’t right yet”. Megan, you have really been a phenomenal inspiration to me not only personally but professionally as well. There were days when I felt so overwhelmed that I thought I would burst and like the amazing friend you are you dropped everything to cheer me up and push me forward. Whitney! Holy cow, thank you for teaching me literally everything I know about conservation and preservation and for being an amazing listener and advice giver. Thank you for always being there to bounce ideas off of and for being a very patient teacher. You are amazing and my life has been greatly improved by having you in it. That goes for all of you really, I don’t think friends come any better than you ladies!

Thank you Mom and Dad for instilling in me from an early age the importance of reading and education. And thank you for giving me all the tools I would need to be successful. I wouldn’t be the woman I am today without the two of you!

I want to thank all of my professors (especially Jim Schnur and Penney Beile) for continuously making the topics interesting and relevant to the current field. Without all of you I wouldn’t have known that the LIS field extends far beyond what I had ever imagined.

Lastly, thank you to the Librarians I have encountered throughout this entire process. From my grade school Media Center specialists who encouraged me to read far beyond my grade level and who introduced me to some of my favorite books and genres to the Librarians that I now have the honor of calling my colleagues. You have all been an inspiration and I hope that one day I will inspire young Librarians as well.

So thank you all! I feel blessed to have so many friends and people to share this momentous achievement with! But for now, it is time to sit back and relax and maybe go on vacation because now the real fun starts… Now I get to job hunt.

And now for a small slide show of my graduation pictures.

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2 thoughts on “Finally a Graduate!

  1. Congratulations on such an amazing accomplishment, Amanda! I’m in awe of anyone who manages to work full time and achieve something undeniably exhausting yet so incredibly fulfilling for their lives.

    I’m currently trying to figure out where and how to finish getting a degree and what direction I want to go toward (my original major was mostly chosen based on the classes that would be available to me while working full time). Having focused largely on Art, while in school, I find that most of the things I’m passionate about aren’t exactly the most lucrative career choices. I may not be looking to pull in the Benjamins hand over fist, but if I’m going to be paid minimum wage I’ll never pay off my education! And so the snake continues to bite it’s already-gnawed-upon tail.

    Fourteen years ago, I was about 3 classes shy of an AA in Art History (one of those classes only came up once every three quarters and was sometimes in the middle of the day, when I was not able to attend). The frustration of the scheduling issues were eating at my resolve, when a breast cancer scare utterly derailed my focus and energy, and offered the ultimate excuse to quit. Suddenly the idea that life was too short [to be burning myself out with school and stressing over how infrequently necessary classes were offered] was all I could think of, and I became determined to just go for what I wanted to do [because degrees didn’t seem all that necessary at the time].

    As it was, people would scoff at my major, and say, “Why bother? You’re still going to end up working at Kinko’s with an Art History degree. You should just cut out the middle man. Why waste your money and time?!” While I take full responsibility for allowing such discouraging words to distract and excuse me from my goals, I no longer have any contact with those who convinced me to quit. I have since learned that there is room in my life for only those who value, honor and encourage an individual’s desire to better themselves.

    When I chose to leave, it was with the intent of returning to school after I had established myself in my chosen home and work (my undying dream, since I was four, had been to work for Disney whose nearest office was 600 miles from where I was living at the time). I am exceptionally proud to have lived out that dream. However some very important developments in the business world went down during that time. It had never occurred to me that I wouldn’t be able to move up in the ranks as I had in other businesses, due to layoffs and economic downturn. It also never dawned on me, that we would come to a place where virtually all employers would require a bachelors degree for even the most menial corporate positions; and that even though I have 20 years of experience, once considered to be equal to several degrees over, someone with no experience is now considered more qualified and worthy of better pay.

    I guess that’s the long way of saying that through my own experiences, the amount of respect I have for someone who perseveres in reaching their goals, is immense. Well done!



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