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.