Grad Student No More – Will that be paper or plastic?

Residents of the Internet, you may now all refer to me as your new Mistress. 

That is all,

Sarah J.


Actually, no, that is not all. Let me clarify: The McMaster University, in all of the pomp and wisdom usually afforded to a reputable university, has somehow decided to grant me with a Master of Arts degree. Indeed, since we last spoke, I somehow survived grad studies and even passed. A lot of people have been asking me in the last few weeks how I feel about that, and I’ve sort of just been smiling bemusedly and nodding politely. I can’t help but feel like the people I talk to are expecting some sort of profound and eloquent answer about the true meaning of higher education, or some other useless but seemingly impressive crap. The fact is my brain cells gave out sometime at the end of August, and have only just started to recover. And besides, if I were that clever in-person, these posts would be pod-casts, and not carefully crafted and edited written posts, which hide all the awkward moments of silence staring at my computer screen.

So instead I’ll just start my post with a cheeky one liner I’ve been waiting all year to say, urge you to imagine me proclaiming it with the intonation of a true megalomaniac, and move on from there. Irony and arrogance seem fitting in these circumstances, As there is an incredible arrogance in claiming to be a master of something, and and certain hilarity in the idea of being a Master of the Arts. I keep staring at that diploma (or at least the suitcase in which it has been stashed in since my return from convocation) and wondering what the heck that even means. Not in a great big, existential, academic pondering, navel-gazing sort of way, but in a “I honestly can’t wrap my head around what that is even supposed to mean” sort of way. It’s like, so what exactly are the “Arts” I’m apparently a Master of? What is it that I’m expected to know now, exactly? Has this really added anything to people’s experience as I offer them water or popcorn during my latest stint as a temp worker?

I suppose that it doesn’t really matter. I got this degree because it was an excuse to learn more and talk about things that I love, not to stare adoringly at a piece of paper. It is, however, really nice to start in on the month of December and not be drowning under term papers and undergrad gradings. That part is quite nice. The only real problem is, now I need a new excuse to drink cheap wine.

I suppose I could always just remind people that I’m French…

Sarah J.

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