Julie finished her classes last week. No, I mean she finished her classes. For good. After twenty years of more or less continuous schooling, and just short of her 26th birthday, she has taken all the courses necessary for her PhD. Now, all she has left to do is take her comps and write her dissertation. It kind of makes attending classes seem like the easy part, doesn't it? Proud doesn't begin to cover how I feel about it all.
When Tom and Julie were growing up, we always used the phrases "when you go to college" or "after you finish college". We didn't even want them to look up from their books until they at least had their bachelor's degrees. And they didn't. In fact, they both went on to complete their master's degrees, as well. Tom was tired of being a penniless student, I think, and opted to join the real world at that point, although I know he often thinks about returning to school.
Julie, on the other hand, has never left the world of academia, and, in fact, probably never will. She and Andrew both hope to become college professors - aspirations which I think suit them perfectly. I can see them in future years, with a big house full of dogs and plants and books - mostly books. Julie will be wearing her bathrobe and plaid pajama bottoms... Yes, I can see it all now. And I can't tell you how proud and happy it makes me.