...an anagram for "Carter Family".... in the hopes that each of you who visits this site enjoys reading the ongoing tales of our family... (hey, I'm a teacher at heart, and reading specialist, to boot) and the farm part, well.... I can't help but feel the words of a wise person are true: "Raising children is like being pecked to death by chickens."
Tuesday, August 28, 2012
Anne Carter, M.Ed.
Do you know how long I've wanted to write that?!?!?!
Anne Carter, M.Ed. There. I did it again.
I picked up my diploma and my parents threw me a big party, so now it truly feels official.
Outside Curry, the only buildings in which I ever had class... thank goodness. Even though I was a student at UVA for 5 1/2 years, I remained lost and disoriented on campus, every. single. time! Maybe I should have taken a geography class while I was at it?
This building was completed during the time I was a student there. I absolutely love the Palladian windows, and my best/hardest/most challenging class ever met around a big conference table, right beside that window.
Jeff and Pax went with me when I picked up my diploma. Most embarrassingly, Jeff had a kazoo in his pocket and took it out to play Pomp and Circumstance when I collected my diploma from the University Registrar. They were not amused, and neither was I. He made up for it, though, for taking me out to lunch.
A longer, more elaborated version of the toast I offered at the party:
From the very start of my Master’s program in 2007, I didn’t
quite fully believe I would ever see this day.That first fall semester, the road ahead seemed so long, and so
lonely.I was unique among my peers in
that I was a part-time student but a full-time mom.I wasn’t fresh out of college, like some, and
I wasn’t a seasoned teacher with decades’ worth of experience, like
others.In the beginning, juggling the
demands of a baby and a preschooler and hoping for another down the road, I
wasn’t sure I’d ever be able to manage being Mom and Student.Yet my parents, particularly my mother, had
already paved the way through their own examples.Both of them earned advanced degrees when I
was a kid.Apparently their method
worked:in 2009, my brother finished his
Master’s, juggling the needs and demands of his own growing family.Finally, it was my turn.
The journey was
indeed long, sometimes lonely, sometimes filled with tears, often
rewarding.When I think back to this
time, I will remember two professors in particular who challenged me and pushed
me and helped me thrive.I will remember
several classmates with whom I shared triumphs and tribulations.Above all, I will remember those who
supported me in the long and incredible journey:my friends.And my family.
You, Friends, who were so generous in allowing me to use your
children as guinea pigs in the many practical applications I was required to do
for each coursework requirement.You
listened to me rant about this particular assignment or that demanding
professor, and you asked how my classes were going.You consulted me for advice on book
selections or reading strategies, allowing me to test out my newly-learned
literacy language.You supported me, you
encouraged me, you cheered for me, and when in doubt of what to say to me – you
recommended I go enjoy a glass of wine.
And my family.This
journey would have been impossible without you.Aidan, Leo, and Pax, you were
so patient with me, both when I needed to study, and when I needed to use you
as test subjects.You kept me company in
the basement as I read and wrote papers, quietly playing with trains or, as one
photograph reveals, sleeping on my back in the Ergo as I typed.You were excited to hear about my teachers
and classmates, and were proud to tell your friends that I was a student,
too.Mom and Dad, you cheerfully and tirelessly provided child care,
week after week, so that I could attend class or work on a paper. You
celebrated with me after every big assignment or class was finished, and you
reminded me how to dust myself off and keep going when I was discouraged and
frustrated.You led by example in your
own pursuits, and I am proud to follow in your footsteps.And Jeff
– you are my biggest supporter, my loudest cheerleader, my most trusted
partner.Everything I’ve said about the
support of our friends and our family describes you, tenfold.I am humbled
by your endless commitment and support of my education.You helped me fulfill a dream, one that
started in our earliest years together.You never doubted that this day would arrive.
Henry David Thoreau implored, “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have
Thus, it is because of each of you here today that I was
able to go in the direction of my dream, and it is because of you that I am
living the life I had imagined:a life
full of friends, rich with family, a dream, actualized.I will never be able to say it enough: thank you.