Thursday, June 19, 2008

June Sixteenth

One year ago Monday, I flipped my car off the freeway and was certain at the time that I wasn't going to survive the wreck.

This Monday, I graduated from UC Riverside with a Master of Arts degree in music composition.

Both of these things are kind of hard for me to believe, in a way, though both for different reasons. I still think about that accident almost every day, but considering how active I am now, driving and not suffering any residual pain, it's kind of hard to consider that it really truly happened, even if I remember all the details so clearly. And it's hard to believe it's already been a whole year, because I still remember it all so well. And as for graduation, after two years of school that became increasingly intense with each quarter, it's hard to believe that it's over (for that department, at least), rather than it's going to get even more intense. Being allowed to stick the letters "M.A." after my name if I feel like it seems almost anticlimactic after all that work.

I obviously never expected the accident. Who would? It took such a short time to occur, and yet changed my summer and my life and work since then in an enormous way. But I always expected that I would earn the Master's in music - and that's ultimately not changing my life nearly as much as I thought it would. I went into it knowing it would be the next step to making myself a better composer who was more likely to get a job in the field. But I'm coming out of it into a totally different discipline, not to the job world or to a music PhD. I certainly didn't expect that before the accident, for all I was fascinated by the local geology, but now that I've started working on it, I'm certainly glad for the change of course. I don't know if I really would have thought in earnest about switching if not for the shakeup that was that wreck. Can I be glad about a effect of an event, while still loathing the event itself? I suppose so, weird though it may be.


Silver Fox said...

Congrats on your graduation! Glad you're around.

Tuff Cookie said...

We're all glad you're around - and that you got your MA! Congratulations.

BrianR said...

"...I feel like it seems almost anticlimactic after all that work."

It can feel that way. But, don't let that feeling take away any well-deserved self-pride about accomplishing a long-term goal.

I've never been in a major car accident (only a couple fender-benders) ... I can only imagine how scary and weird it must be.

I'm looking forward to following your blog in the future.

Julian said...

Thanks so much to all of you, both for the congratulations and the well wishes about the accident!

Brian: I am very proud about earning the MA, but I still feel kind of weird about it because I know I'm not going to use the stuff I learned for this degree in my new career path. I'm trying to shift my thinking so that I think of the degree as an accomplishment in and of itself, rather than simply as something to be used later on. I think I'm making progress on that front!