If you can't read it, the button says: Congratulate me, I just completed my thesis! It's not near as cool or monumental as my sister in-law's button she received for completing her dissertation, but I'm still pretty tickled about reaching this next step. We started our programs in the summer of 2009. Nate has taken courses every summer since then, and I plugged away taking at least 6 hours each school year and 6 hours each summer (with the exception of this summer). I started the thesis process this fall by reading through a stack of books to finally stumble my way into a solid topic: Using Place Conscious Education and Social Action to Plug the "Rural Brain Drain." After four years of juggling, it's weird to be done. We both commented on the way home that we'll miss the interaction each summer with highly motivated, quality teachers. They pushed us to evaluate our own classroom practices and become better teachers. Our Master's programs gave us more than a few steps over on the salary schedule: they gave us each a professional network, reinforced our decision to become teachers, and gave us a strong desire to learn. I think in the next year or two we'll find our way back in the college classroom because we're nerdy like that :)
Graduation is August 10th at UNL, and though it seems that many people don't walk at their own graduations anymore--Nate and I have decided to be there. It's a big accomplishment that we did together, and it's our way of celebrating. So if any of you will be in the Lincoln area that evening, give me a call. We're just planning on going out for dinner, but we'd love to have you join us!