31 August 2008

c'est finit

And just like that, it's over. As of Thursday afternoon (short of completing some paperwork) I have now completed my Masters in Media Studies. The experience of the thesis defense was pretty intense, I have to say. Handing my work to three brilliant women who subsequently commented on, critiqued, and questioned it made me feel very vulnerable. Their feedback was certainly challenging, and of course got me thinking about all the things I could have done differently. But a thesis entails a process of dealing with scope, and learning how to narrow down your topic to exclude a million possible ideas, while including only a few.

I do not find it easy to focus on any one thing for a long period of time; I am happiest and most satisfied when juggling a selection of things. So when I decided to do a master's degree, it was mostly because I wanted to test myself, to see if I was actually capable of working on one big thing for a period of time.

I avoided involving myself in too many other activities here in Montreal, and put a lot of my hobbies on the back burner, in order to commit myself to this exercise in focus. All in all, my lifestyle for the last two years has predominantly had two facets: booze and books (a conversation and realization about which inspired the title of Jessica's blog). In other words, I've either been reading and writing, or enjoying the fruits of Montreal's incredible nightlife (okay, and day life. You try resisting sangria on a terrace when the afternoon breezes float down St. Laurent).

And now, I am so ready for my life to expand beyond these horizons. Some thrive in the grad school situation. I did not. While I enjoyed the overall experience, was stimulated by the work, love the friends I have shared the ups and downs of the program with, and am proud of my final product, I found that it was time for me to leave academia — at least for now. I need to get out of my apartment, and away from my desk, and into something a little more interactive (and, you know, financially lucrative) at this point in my life.

In stark contrast to the heady task of finishing my thesis, I've spent the last few days eating peaches while watching season one of Gossip Girl on my computer, saying a reluctant goodbye to Peter as he departs for Toronto, dancing til the wee hours at a 50s party, and eating at a crazy amazing Italian restaurant with Brian's family, and finally cleaning our apartment that has been full of visitors for the last two weeks.

Now I am ready to enjoy the holiday Monday, before "school" starts again: full-time French classes for me (+ the ongoing job hunt), and the small task of a Ph.D program for Brian. Sweet mercy.


The Amazing Shadow said...

Dallas, congrats on completing your Masters! You rock!


Dallas said...

Thanks Mike! Where have you been lately?