I walked down the aisle three decades ago in my black cap and gown. When I reached the stage, the president was waiting to give me my official hood. This beautiful moment in my life signified that I had reached the end of my official academic goals. I turned with my back towards the president, and he carefully reached over my head to place the long silk and velvet hood over my head. As the hood settled onto my shoulders, I felt like I was a little girl again. I felt like I could just dance all over that stage in excitement.
I turned to walk across the stage with the satisfaction that I had completed all the work, and now it was official. I had a master’s degree in English! I have no recollection of even walking off the sage because I was already celebrating in my mind. My mind and my brain were in sync. Everything in my world was rejoicing with me.
What nobody knew is that I worked on that MA in English degree for six difficult years. During those years, I worked on the degree from Pennsylvania, West Virginia, California, Canada, and Austria. Germany, Italy, and the Czech Republic.
That is where life took me during those six years after I had my first class in the MA in English program! And that’s a long story that I’ll discuss in a future article.
I imagine you must be curious about why a university fine arts student would also pursue a higher degree in English.
The reason is simple!
The love of poetry that I discovered while working on the BFA in painting was how I got hooked on poetry.
I immediately understood the deep roots of Poetry as fine art. Poetry, I knew, was the art form of language. Poetry is at the top of the hierarchy of written and spoken language.
No words can describe the joy of working to reach the lofty educational goals I set.
I loved being a student and learning everything I could from many different disciplines. I loved beginning courses on topics I knew nothing about. I am a person who was born to learn. I thrive on learning and finding new discoveries every day.
When that final diploma was in my hand, I knew I was standing at a fork in the road. I reached a dividing point between my student-centered life of studies and my new academic life as a professional educator.
When students begin to pursue the academic goals that lead to a university degree, they embrace a future-centered environment that will involve them in life-long learning.
I eventually understood that even as a first-semester freshman, a university student is already a professional. The decision to begin this journey propels a student into a professional. I mourned the loss of being in a classroom as a student. But, honestly, I wanted to be a student forever.
Reflecting on those years, I can say I wrote more research papers than I remember. Nevertheless, writing and researching various topics in my fields of fine arts and humanities motivated me and urged me onward to pursue wisdom.
I thrived on researching at the library; searching through the pages of various periodicals or books was a passion.
In the process of writing papers, I discovered new research. I felt like an archaeologist digging in a multi-layered excavation site. Every page I turned just might lead to a new discovery. Recent discoveries revealed a new set of questions and new paths to pursue.
We often find hidden pathways and ancient passages in the debris and dust we gather as we write our papers. There is always something that compels us to explore. Dig deeper. While researching and writing essays, I experienced the unexpected or unknown. It is in these pivots of our life that we encounter our true self as we continually ask:
“Where will this lead me?”
“What is this world view?”
Miriam Webster’s Dictionary reveals that a pivot can be a noun or a verb. So yes, I can see it both ways, but when I think of this word, pivot, I feel like the action is taking place.
This word indicates a movement to me. Research brings me to new information. New conclusions.
Visit the WELCOME PAGE to learn more about Lynda McKinney Lambert.
My articles and poems appear on some blogs and Literary Magazines, anthologies, and books. Currently, I have authored five books available on all retail book sellers sites. You can also find anthologies with my work featured.
Poetry Treasures 2: WordCrafter Poetry Anthology
Editors: Kaye Lynne Booth & Robbie Cheadle, 2022. Buy it HERE
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Lynda McKinney Lambert lives and writes in the Village of Wurtemburg, in Western Pennsylvania. Her articles and poems appear on a number of blogs, as well as Literary Magazines and books.
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Copyright 2022. Lynda McKinney Lambert. All rights reserved.