Twice as Far Behind As Yet to Go (Nearly)

In terms of credit hours needed to graduate, I’m now about 64% through my Masters in Public Affairs and Policy at Rockefeller College, having completed my last exam of the year tonight. I would have liked to have floated out of the test on a cloud of goodly feelings, but I feel more like I just got kicked one last time, and paid for it, instead. Overall, the year has been extraordinarily challenging and rewarding, but sometimes you just don’t click with a test, and tonight was one of those nights for me. I had originally intended to take two classes this summer and attempt to graduate in December, but my brain is fried deeply enough that I’m going to just take the summer off (school-wise) and concentrate on my new job and my old family as much as I possibly can. I should still be able to finish in May 2008, which is within the normal two year span of time allotted for the degree.

The last time I put myself on a similar sort of self-imposed march of masochism was in 2004, when I wrote a poem a day and published them all on my blog in real time, and didn’t get a master’s degree when it was all over. At the 66% point of that project, I wrote a poem with the title of this post. I reprint it below, since it ably sums up the way I feel: proud of what I’ve achieved, but recognizing that the third that’s yet to come is possibly (probably) going to be the hardest part of the slog.

Twice As Far Behind as Yet to Go

I’m very tired of pushing words like snow,
then slipping on the forms that lie below.
I think I might just stop here now, although
I’ve twice as far behind as yet to go.

The words that used to pour out, now don’t come,
I often feel as though I’m stricken dumb.
But looking back, I see how far I’ve come:
there’s twice as far behind as yet to come.

Off in the distance, maybe, I can see
an ending to my self-imposed decree.
I guess I can be proud, to some degree
with twice as much behind as yet to be.

So here I sit, and write, at this plateau
with twice as far behind as yet to go.

(Poem copyright 2004 by Moi).

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