Master Helzer--Squared

Today marked a monumental step for Nate and me: we finished our Masters Degrees! Nate passed his comps a few weeks ago and had his last class today to earn a Masters in Music Education. And I passed my comps on Monday and deposited my thesis (Nate always giggles when I say this because it sounds like deposit my feces....he's so grown-up) today on UNL's Digital Commons website to earn my MA in English. The kind people in Graduate Studies gave me this little button:

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!


Stu said...


Kristin said...

...I don't think "Run Helzers Run!" Would be appropriate at this venue... maybe we'll need a new shirt... "Walk Helzers Walk"?
If we can, we'd love to come.

Amy said...

Yay!!!! So excited for both of you! What a great feeling to be done with classes...even if it is only for a little while.

We will be there August 10 cheering you on!!