Monday, December 19, 2011

Another Day, Another A

We did it!!  Joann and I are officially finished with grad school -- YIPPEEEEE!!!!

Over two years of sweat and tears went into this journey, starting the day that Joann approached me with this crazy idea.  My first thought was that this girl was nuts, but quickly realized how many crazy things Joann had agreed to -- buying a bike and riding a metric century, half marathons, travelling to Oklahoma to sherpa my first 70.3 -- yeah, I owed her one.  We didn't start out with the plan to attend the same school, and in fact, we both were going back and forth between George Mason and Marymount, but in the end, Marymount's programs seemed to be the best fit for both of us, Joann getting her Masters of Business Administration and me a Masters of Information Technology.

It's almost hard to recall all those late nights of staring at blank pages on the computer screen, researching term papers, studying for exams, navigating the Blackboard system and waiting impatiently for each and every grade.  From Systems Engineering and Computer Security to Program Management, IT Governance and Policy and Human Computer Interaction (for me.... Finance, Accounting and such for Joann), we made our way, 3 credits at a time, toward this moment.

It was a surreal feeling turning in that final assignment.  During this final month, if something could have gone wrong, it did, starting with my computer crapping out on me about 36 pages into my final paper for my masters project.  AWESOME.  Thankfully, James helped me recover the file and I was able to use Jon's secondary laptop to finish it.  (and yes, I back up, but not every second, usually only when I'm done for the day.  In this case, I'd have lost about 4 hours worth of work).  Oy.  But all that is over now, papers turned in, presentation completed and grades are posted (4.0 GPA!!).  Time for GRADUATION PARTY!!!

Our graduation party could be considered the event of the decade.  We rented out Union Street Public House in Old Town, Alexandria, and arranged for speakers, games and shenanigans with our close friends and family.  Following the ceremony, the group moved to Pat Troy's Irish Pub and then Rocket Bar before crashing a the local Sheraton where several continued to party well into the wee hours of the morning.