A university diploma declaring me a recipient of a Bachelors of Art in English hangs in a medallioned frame. The frame is sturdy wood with a silver emblem of my university’s seal pressed into the navy panel surrounding the piece of paper that determines for me, perhaps, a higher salary in whatever career I decided to pursue. This flimsy, flammable piece of parchment places me in the 20% of the population of the United States who have gained a degree in higher education. I should be shocked and thrilled and exuberant concerning this milestone in my life, but I am not. This could be because the reality of my accomplishment has not definitively settled, but I like to think that it is more because I have only just begun. This is the first major step at the bottom of a towering, spiraling staircase towards the academic credibility I wish to ultimately pursue. Am I pleased and grateful and blessed? Yes. Oh, yes. Could I stop studying and be content with a married life and decent career among the 20%? Yes. Very much so, yes.


I want to pursue my Masters and Doctorate. I want to have the title and the letters; to be among the 2%. I want to be respected for my mind and sought after for advice, wisdom and discerning judgment. I want to teach and continue to be taught. I want to write books that challenge and change people’s lives. I want to raise intelligent children who are so far above the mold that they rattle the modern world by being a brilliant force for God’s good. I want all these things, yes. Yet, I would be satisfied to spend my days in a garden, wiping snotty children’s noses, rubbing my husband’s feet and pouring my secrets into fiction. The impact may be less grand, or it may be the greatest achievement I will ever experience. It seems that the one thing I can take away from my university experience is not just a diploma in a frame or the potential for a higher pay-grade, but a continued desire to learn and affect the world: in a big way or a small way, it does not matter. I am simply prepared and eager to do what God would have me do.


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