I walked inside the office room – the room in the corner of the first floor which window looked down directly to the front gate of the university. At one end of the wall was a huge bookcase full of academic books, and at the other end, well, the big window.

Professor Mark sat down on his L-shaped office table, glued to his Mac, as per usual, before he noticed me, smiled and said, ‘Ah, Marcella, come on in.’

I smiled and mumbled that I’ve been good, and put down my two bags and took out a draft of my third chapter. It was the most important part of the thesis. I was so proud of it, but I didn’t know what he would say about it. I had sent the piece on Friday and enjoyed the long weekend. Today was Tuesday, and I would find out the verdict.

He smiled. ‘I couldn’t believe you have a chapter out of nowhere. Now it seems like you’re close to actually having a full draft in hand.’

I let go of the breath I didn’t realise I had been holding. ‘So do you think it’s good?’

‘It’s really good. Especially the analysis part. You don’t state causations, but merely stating the results and showing how could they be relevant to the topic. I think that’s exactly what you need to do with this thesis.’

I smiled, knowing fully that my studies in Psychology way back when had helped immensely in writing this Publishing and Communications thesis. ‘There’s correlation,’ my Psych professor used to say, ‘and not a causation. Leave everything ambiguous. We will never know the full picture.’

Mark pointed out the sections where I should elaborate more on certain points, and let me know the sections where he knew what I was talking about but didn’t clarify the points enough. He actually looked quite pleased, probably he had been worried with the state of my thesis since the third chapter was a blank space merely two weeks ago. I couldn’t stop smiling.

‘Next week is Easter, and the week after that is a non-teaching period,’ he said, looking at the calendar in his computer. ‘Shall we meet the first week of April then?’

‘Sure,’ I said, opening up the calendar app on my iPhone. ‘I’ll be finishing the second chapter and revising this chapter as well.’


The last ride

Truth to be told, if you tell me one year ago that I would be doing a minor thesis as a part of my Master’s, I would laugh at you. I declined that Honour’s offer, after all. But here I am, two-third into finishing a thesis that I’ve grown to love, pleasantly pleased with myself and with my topic choice and everything else in between.

This semester, I have chosen to do the thesis and an internship subject. That means: I have no uni at all. For one day a week, I would go to a publishing house and learn the behind-the-scenes stuff. For the rest of the week, I would stay at home and do my thesis, brainstorming for the internship research report, read books, clean the apartment, cook good food, have countless coffee and catch up with friends.

I really love working from home.

This semester, I only have two dates etched on my brain: May 6th, which is the due date for the thesis, and June 7th, which is the due date for the internship research report. Then I’ll be finished with Masters. Finished with studies. I will no more write an essay or go to a class or get a graded paper back.

I will never be a university student anymore. (On this, I’m 99 per cent sure. I’ll leave the 1 per cent probability on getting a PhD, but I think the only time Marcella Purnama will ever be Marcella Purnama, PhD is at an alternate universe where Ford Prefect lives. Yes, I’m currently listening to the audiobook of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series.)

Ah, it’s bittersweet.

Previously, I’m always so eager to embrace the next big thing, to turn a new leaf, to graduate. But this time, I feel no rush to throw my hat in the air. This time, I think I’ll sit down and have even more coffee, actually enjoying the last ride.

(And getting as many concession discounts as I can.)

Ps. I can’t believe I’m getting emotional for graduating from uni soon. Are you? (Were you?)

Photo by notnyt via Flickr, Creative Commons