I am officially graduated, even though I don't yet have my final grades. The grades were due on Thursday at 11:00pm local time, with the intentions of getting them to us via internet on Friday. The best-laid plans etc, and the site went down on Thursday so not all of the professors could get the grades in. Last I heard, Oswego is hoping to get them up sometime tomorrow. Andy is fairly certain the professors would have warned me if I was near flunking anything, and general consensus among friends is that I'll not have bombed the exams/papers/journal as badly as I fear. I will be content (though not exactly happy) to have accumulated four Cs.
People, thankfully not on LJ, have asked what I'll do with the degree. The thing is, I have no idea. Part of me would love to try to find somewhere which would allow me to get a master's in creative writing/fantasy. The University of New Mexico (UNM) is not a viable option; on their page for creative writing/fiction they outright state that they're not set up for fantasy or science fiction. I would need to worry about explaining away two very bad semesters in order to have an undergrad GPA which would get me the minimum requirements needed for several of the programs I've looked into, and the other problem is distance learning. Andy does not want to do this LD thing again any time soon. I will also be watching Oswego to see if they make their graduate work long-distance; I would love to get my master's there, and to heck with people who say it's bad to get your grad degree from the same place you earn your undergrad.
One thing I am looking at doing in the immediate future is getting back into jewelry-making. I've already enrolled in two one-day courses, basic bench work and metal-forming, from the local company from which I get supplies. I'm also looking into the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) for a distance-learning degree on gems. If I like the short courses enough, I'll go for some larger ones which include labs, but at most 2-3 day trips. The other advantage is that their HQ is in Carlsbad, which is a decent haul from Albuquerque, but more like a day-long car ride than a day in airports, like it is for almost any destination from Albuquerque. Anyway, if I get my degree from GIA I may actually look into some courses in Carlsbad, but those would be for half a year rather than the two-three years for a master's degree elsewhere. I plan to chronicle my adventures with jewelry classes, both Rio Grande and GIA, in my LJ account for jewelry-related stuff, ferretshock.
Of course that leads to what I would do with all of this jewelry learning. I don't plan on becoming a jeweler or a jewelry designer, though I do have a few ideas which I might put to work in making stuff for friends and relatives.
I guess the overall thing is that, especially in this economy, I don't need a paying job. Andy makes enough for us to live comfortably, and aside from being able to help family and friends who are in distress, there is nothing we would actually do with any additional income. I also don't think it's fair to take a paying job when there are people out there who need them. Back when I was job-hunting I would get so frustrated at people who were taking jobs I could do just for something to do.
I hope to go back to volunteering. Kitty City is always a possibility, though the store which hosts it is usually only open during the hours Andy is at work on weekdays, and we're a one-car family. Another option, one which appeals due to my high-school extra-curricular activities, would be to help out if any local school(s) has/have (a) forensics (speech and debate) team(s). I don't know how qualified I would be to coach since I mostly did extemporaneous speaking in high school, but if here is anything like high school, judges are sorely needed. Tournaments largely happened on Friday evenings or all day on Saturdays in high school, except for states or nationals, so the car wouldn't be as much of a problem. Last but not least, I'm thinking of looking up literacy volunteers in the area. I don't know how good of a teacher I would be, but I would love to help adults learn to read, given how much I enjoy reading.
So, those are my thoughts for now. If anyone is interested I'll post grades once I get them, and be watching ferretshock if you want to follow my jewelry adventures. I may wait a little while to get re-acquainted with Andy and the kitties and to see what the distance-learning classes are like before jumping back into volunteering.