Folks, I've reached a milestone. I've officially completed one third of my Master's degree. Hurrah! Actually, let me re-phrase that. Today was the last day of my Fall semester classes, which means that once I hand in my last essay next Tuesday (which, really, is pretty much done. Who knew writing about neoliberalism could be so easy? Double hurrah!), I will be officially done one third (one semester out of three) of this graduate degree. Oh, how time flies.
As Janice just noted, "It was our first and last Fall semester of grad school. We'll never have a Fall semester at Queen's again!" Oh Janice, how wise of you.
So how was my first semester at Queen's as a graduate student? It seems just like yesterday that I was blogging about my first week of classes. And yet here we are, three months later. It's funny how life works out. I like to think about the sequence of events like this....
If my 13-year old self hadn't attended the Gordon Graydon Memorial Secondary School information session ten years ago, I wouldn't have known about the IBT program, applied for the IBT program, was interviewed for the IBT program, and ultimately accepted into the IBT program.
If I hadn't spent four years in the IBT program, I wouldn't have met the three most influential teachers I've ever had in my life. If I hadn't enrolled in the IBT program, I wouldn't have taken an Introduction to Law course with Mr. Mike Ford (RIP), which was one of the defining moments of my high school career.
If I hadn't taken Introduction to Law, I wouldn't have participated in Graydon's provincial mock trials and debates.
If I hadn't been encouraged to participate in mock trials, I wouldn't have realized (so soon) that I had an interest in (logically arguing?) attending law school.
If I didn't have (such an early interest) in attending law school, I wouldn't have started looking into Political Science programs at Ontario universities.
If I wasn't interested in studying Political Science in high school, I would have chosen a Journalism program and would have obtained a (professional) undergraduate degree elsewhere. I wouldn't have attended UofT.
If I hadn't attended UofT, I wouldn't have met the most incredible professors that fundamentally shaped my academic career and research interests. If I hadn't met these incredible professors (read about one here and the other here), I wouldn't have taken the fourth year Constitutional Law course that ended up being the highlight of my undergraduate experience.
If I hadn't studied with these particular professors (who were the most encouraging individuals I have ever met in an academic setting. Who says UofT sucks?), I wouldn't have considered obtaining a Masters degree before law school.
If I hadn't considered obtaining a Master's degree before law school, I wouldn't have taken a look at the program at Queen's University.
If I hadn't researched Masters programs at Queen's (the London School of Economics, Western, etc.), I wouldn't have applied and wouldn't have been eventually accepted at these schools.
If I hadn't accepted my offer from Queen's, I wouldn't have moved to Kingston this past September (and I wouldn't have started this blog! What!).
If I hadn't moved to Kingston, I wouldn't have had the pleasure of taking some awesome courses in the Fall semester of my Master's program. I wouldn't have taken a course that pretty much shifted my research interests away from Comparative Politics towards a more Canadian Politics focus (Oh, Canada). I wouldn't have realized how much I enjoyed reading about and researching the dynamics of political parties. I wouldn't have had the pleasure of realizing how much I enjoy research the politics of multi-level states and the implications of federalism in Canada.
In short? As this Fall semester comes to an end, I can honestly say that I have no regrets, my friends. My first semester here at Queen's was everything I imagined it would be. Actually, it was more. I've taken some wonderful classes, taught a great group of students as a TA, met some incredible friends, and had the pleasure of living in a city that I've grown to love.
One semester down, two to go! Here's hoping next semester is just as great!
“To be yourself, in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else, is the greatest accomplishment.”
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Intellectual growth should commence at birth and cease only at death.”
- Albert Einstein