Graduation.

On the day of my ‘graduation ceremony’ from Bar Ilan’s Conflict Management and Negotiation program, I must note that five years ago,when I started, I wasn’t planning to still be at the job that was supposed to pay my way through university.

Yet here I am.

So, the degree was a bit of a disappointment. Maybe the program is better now, who knows. I’m still a bit scarred from one of the professors saying to us at the end of one semester: Don’t bother making mediation your career. It should be a side job, something nice you do aside from the job that feeds you.

Look, he’s not completely wrong, but saying it to students studying the field and not doing anything to better the situation isn’t completely right.

Anyway. I’m very lucky that the job that was meant to feed me through grad school became my career. In Israel, it doesn’t usually happen this way – you come with a profession and settle for less. I came with a bullshit humanities degree and experience in activism and journalism – and learned a lot. Both in mediation and in hi tech. I’m a different person than when I got here.

I was going to blow off the חלוקת תעודות  tonight but in the end decided I have nothing to lose. A good friend will join me; actually, a good friend I made waaay back when I first started the degree and the job.

I think she’s more happy that its completed than I am.

A degree in degree-getting.

So a couple weeks ago I shared the latest Bar Ilan update that standing between me and my diploma was a ptur in English.

One moment; allow me to rephrase that…

Approximately one fortnight ago, yours truly revealed an update on the outstanding situation regarding the university of Bar Ilan, where the accomplishment of a Master’s Degree was halted due to the matter of an exemption in the English language.

After over a month of bureaucratic ridonkulousness (yes, that is English!) I managed to get through to a wonderful angel named Simone, originally from the continent of North America, who speaks – you got it – English. Helpful since everyone else I spoke to was leading me to the wrong offices or telling me they’d call back someday.

Yesterday I checked my mailbox – and lo and behold! – received myself a nice big envelope with my completed transcript and ishur that my degree has been completed. I should be getting the official diploma at a ceremony whoknowswhen, 2010. Or maybe 2017?

No  matter. It’s only taken four years. I can now register for my extra tax credit.

And start my PhD.

Staaaam.

The lizrael update I've been waiting for.

Don’t know about you, but I can speak for myself, my husband, my family, some of my closer friends, and probably some coworkers and ex coworkers when I say that this is the lizrael update I’ve been wanting to share for a long, long time… In fact, I can pinpoint the time. It would be here.

But now I can finally say: I’ve handed in my very last graduate school work. It was actually a couple weeks ago, but it was too good to believe on the spot so I’ve been waiting until it sank in.

Don’t get me wrong; I have no confirmation except my own calculations and last year’s assurance from a department secretary that my student file is ready to be stamped This one’s good to go. I also want to know that my final internship project has passed. As far as I know, I’ve handed everything I can possibly hand in, taken all credits and finals, and paid (or had others pay) all monies to complete my requirements. If this is truly the happy ending, then my official graduation won’t be until the end of this academic year.

But, with a little optimism uncharacteristic of an Israeli student, I will say:

No more teachers, no more strikes.

No more Minhal Studentim hikes.

Some people have already asked me, “What are you going to do now?” And in my head I’m replying, “Think up my next academic feat,” while my mouth brings forth, “Birth a baby and perhaps raise it.”