Well Grad School is over, I’m in Italy… I guess I oughta start reclaiming this place from Snakeye’s Craft Corner back to the good ol’ Frag. But now I can easily see how school can affect a site like this. There were times I hated to even get on a computer, because I knew that Grad School was looming over my head (the “if I don’t turn on my computer, then Grad School isn’t there” syndrome)…
Hands down, the past 5 months have been the most hectic I’ve ever negotiated. Moving overseas, a new assignment, learning the flying gig again, bringing a new kid to the family, and one last gut-punch from Colorado State before they give me my $21,000 piece of paper. My plate was overflowingly full and this site, among many other things I enjoy in my life (even my family at times), seemed to fade to the background as I tried to take care of and track what needed to be done. But it’s over… at least the worst of it.
Why 110%? Because I seriously burned myself out… mainly with Grad School. Rather than just settling for “passing,” I got the taste of a 4.0 a few semesters ago and decided that maybe I had a shot at some MBA honors society. Alas that didn’t happen, but I didn’t have my crystal ball during the past year either, while I worked my ass off to get a 4.0 in every semester after that. I’m glad it’s over. Looking back, I have no freakin’ clue how I got through this in 2 years…
Here’s some of my sacrifices that Grad School encouraged:
- While deployed!
70% of my time working on school was while deployed overseas in combat. I didn’t really have the time to work on it, but I had zero distractions while there… so believe it or not, it actually made it easier in a roundabout way. It still sucked though, because anything internet-related while deployed runs at 2400-baud modem speed (if anyone remembers those days…)
- On a cruise ship!
Pam’s parents celebrated their 35th wedding anniversary by taking the family (kids & grand-kids) on a Caribbean cruise. Of the 4 excursion stops, I only left the boat for 3 of them. I opted out and stayed on the docked boat for an entire day to finish up a paper and hand it in. The downside: I actually had to pay-per-hour for boat-internet while I was working on it that day. The upsides: at least it was only Mexico I missed (the least impressive of all the stops, in my opinion) and I finished the paper with Corona in-hand.
- On a Key West vacation!
A few months after the cruise, I flew the family in a rented plane to Key West for a 4-day weekend. Yeah, I sat in the hotel for a day (while Pam, Laura and Brenden went shopping) to take a 4-hour timed final exam online. At least the internet was free… but that was an expensive test if you count the cost of renting a plane to fly from Savannah to Key West and back.
- While Pam was giving birth!
Here’s where every woman out there thinks that I’m a horrible husband: yes, I spent 4 hours writing a paper using the hospital WiFi while Pam was in labor with Marissa. But take heart, she already had her epidural and and wasn’t feeling much anyway. Hey, desperate times call for desperate measures – I think I got it handed in 3 hours prior to Marissa’s birth (and squeaked it in 30 minutes before it was due!).
- While roaming the streets at night!
So we’ve long since cut off all the “niceties” (DirectTV, internet, phones, etc) at our Savannah house and I had to go back to oversee the movers pack everything we own and haul it away. To use my time wisely, I took advantage of the downtime after the they left each day and worked on a paper that was due. A cardboard moving box was my desk, and a fold-out lawn chair was my throne. Only I had no internet to submit… so I ended up roaming the streets hunting for a signal. Unfortunately, most people tend to secure their WiFi nowadays. But there will always be a few technologically slow people in a crowd. Luckily it only took me 30 minutes of walking around to find an unsecured signal. With that, I submitted the paper sitting on a curb in front of the suspect house. Thanks for letting me use your internet at 2:00 in the morning…
- At the Food Court!
I guess the base in Phoenix, AZ hasn’t caught up with the times and put internet (wired or wireless) into the room our family spent a month in. Grad School time was shared working in a Food Court (really… they had free WiFi) and at my sister’s house. The downside to that is I think I spent more time pouring over Colorado State’s website than I did hanging out with my sister and family…
It’s nuts to think what you have to do sometimes to make ends meet. But at least the MBA work is finally over… now that I’ve vented, you’ll never hear another peep on that subject again. Good riddance.