Thursday, April 28, 2011

whirlwind

It is a windy day today. This afternoon I took a long walk which included stops at the grocery store, the bank, the pharmacy, and the dry cleaner. At one point I thought I was going to lose a pair of pants as the wind lifted the plastic dry cleaner bag above my head, but I managed to get everything safely home, including my hair.

Things have been moving quite quickly in the past few days - it feels like a bit of a whirlwind. On Tuesday I submitted a thesis on behalf of a colleague who is no longer living in Montreal, and while I was printing out the multiple copies at the library and annoying a few people who were queued up after me, I received an email that let me know my own thesis had just been approved by my second supervisor and was good to go! The next morning I did one last proofread of the 114-page document and headed to school to print my own copies and hand them in to the various offices. Today, I just received news that the formatting is all okay (no changes) and that I now have a tentative date for a thesis defence at the end of June. After weeks of working, writing, and then waiting, everything seems to be happening very quickly.

On the one hand, things moving forward quickly is good, but on the other hand, I am all too aware that the impending completion of my master's degree means that many things will come to an end. First of all, there are people whom I have grown quite fond of, and I am not sure how much contact I will have with them in the future. As well, the very enjoyable and satisfying experience of serving on what I believe might be the best graduate journal committee ever is winding down. There is a bittersweet aspect to crossing this finish line.

Aware of this, for most of this final term I have determined to enjoy every minute of the experience, knowing that all too soon it will be over. I tried to relish every class I taught as a TA, every conversation I had with a student, every lecture I got to listen to, and every essay I had to grade. I made a point of appreciating every meeting or brief conversation I had with my supervisor. I took more time to hang out and interact with a few of my colleagues who had become good friends over the past years. I tried to take mental snapshots of this incredible time in my life so that I would not forget the richness of it, even in the midst of hard work and late nights.

Aside from all the other things I have learned at university, this might be one of the most important lessons: that today is to be savoured, never rushed through or wished away, and never complained about to the degree that it loses its sparkle of life and I lose my gratitude. Let me always take time to savour the tiny details and simple interactions, these rich moments that make me feel very much alive. They will never happen quite this way again.

This is the last photo I took with my wee Nikon Coolpix 7600, my first digital camera, before I sold it last week. Good times!

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