I said in my last post that this year was marked by highs and lows. Now that I blew through those lows in one post (sorry if it was a bit much), the rest of the posts will be on highs. But this post is to mark the highest of highs.
I already wrote about one of them this year. I think one of the things that brought me the most joy this year was seeing the commitments that the students I worked with at church at UVA made. I feel humbled and privileged to have even been a part of their decisions in careers, in ministry, in committing completely to the Lord.
The next few build on each other. In May 2011 I reached the end of the road of my childhood plans. I graduated from law school. Growing up in an academic community, graduations became routine and boring to me. For a number of reasons, I didn’t even go to my college graduation. But for some reason, I was stoked about graduating from law school. It truly was a high experience, and I was touched that so many of my friends and family came to be a part of that special experience with me.
Of course, once one graduates from law school, she is then eligible to sit for the bar exam in the state (or states) of her choosing. And so, as this blog has documented, I spent my summer studying for the Michigan Bar Exam. I sat for it July 26 and 27, and I survived! Two days of testing, under lots of time pressure, there are lots of stories of people who lose it. I’ve heard that once a woman started running up and down an aisle yelling “I’m an easement and I’m running with a land.” It could be an urban legend of bar exam takers, but either way I’m glad I held it together.
Then in August, I graduated again. I know, this one was much more hush hush. While I was in law school I earned a dual degree; in addition to a law degree I earned a master’s in history. I know, I’m a glutton for punishment. Even though I had met all the requirements by May, because of administrative policy at the University that does not allow you to graduate in the same term with two degrees, I didn’t officially graduate with my M.A. until August. But now I have the paper to prove it!
Finally, just when I was in desperate need of some good news, my anxieties were laid to rest and I found out not only did I survive the Michigan Bar Exam, I passed it.
I wasn’t the only one to complete a degree either. My dad has been in graduate school for a long time now. In July, two days after I sat for the bar, my dad successfully defended his doctoral dissertation. This month he finished up the last loose ends and he is officially completed. I’m so happy for him and proud of him.
There have been smaller triumphs since then, mostly involving winning games against friends, but these were the biggies. So while 2011 was hard, I can’t look back on it, wishing it was a year I could completely pass over it. There were plenty of good spots as well. A bush may have thorns, but it has roses too. And once you see the roses, the consciousness of thorns evaporates away.