I’m supposed to graduate from Johns Hopkins this Thursday (does it count as my graduation even if I’m not going?). I’m not going. There are a number of reasons for this, though I kind of regret not registering. Yes, I am still getting my diploma from Hopkins with a 4.0 GPA and my graduate degree in Urban Education. But I’ve had serious issues with the entire masters process since I started my coursework. Essentially, I didn’t work that hard. Not as hard as I would’ve liked. School work, academia, and intellectual stimulation are some of the only things in my life that have really brought me joy and illumination throughout my entire life, and having known what it was like to graduate from a school that I LOVED, that meant everything to me, the idea of sitting through a ceremony at a school I didn’t even particularly like seemed hypocritical to me. Frankly, since most my friends in the program seemed to feel the same way about it, I was surprised to figure out that I seem to be the only one not going. The program didn’t mean that much while I was doing it—I’m not going to pretend it does now.
I delivered my class’s undergraduate commencement address. I walked across that stage in front of all the people who loved me in the world (almost) and the idea of stumbling along it in robes of an unfamiliar color after listening to an irrelevant address by someone else to get a sheet of a paper that, while prestigious, doesn’t mean anything compared to one I already have, seemed silly. I spoke to my undergraduate advisor about it a few days ago and he asked me if I thought I’d look back on this and regret the choice not go, and I said no, and we both laughed. Basically, the only thing I’ll miss is the requisite instagram picture of me in another robe.
My time in TFA and at Hopkins has definitely solidified one idea for me—right along with our PK-12 education reform, we need higher ed reform just as badly. I hope to walk across a stage again in a number of years to get my ph.d, after faithfully working towards that goal.