The Road to Thesis


Every day for the past year, as I’ve walked into City Centre, this has loomed before me:

Winking at me, teasing me; the great big black and yellow sign. Thesis. Thesis. Thesis. Stop looking at me, Thesis. I’ve got a workshop/lecture/travel article/pastie/book launch to get to and… yes, fine; you’re what I came here to do but I’ve got a life to live and I don’t need you hanging over my head.

Bitch.

A year in Dublin. Crunchy yellow leaves and seafood chowder in Howth village; lonely strolls down brick-lain Grafton Street; hot ports every day of the crisp winter; are you okay there? sure why wouldn’t you be. thanks a million. for the craic, like; cherry blossoms in St. Stephen’s Green; rain, rain, rain.

I won’t front; the first term of graduate school was rough. Regular ego deflation and the constant gloom of Do I really belong in this program? hanging heavy, like the Thesis sign, threatening to undermine the initial euphoria of ever having been accepted in the first place. Rough, rough, rough… and then different. And then better. And then a lot better. I see you, Thesis. I see you over there. Every day, steps towards City Centre. I see you. Don’t worry. I see you.

Today, after a week back in Dublin, I headed into City Centre as per the usual. And, of course, there it was: Thesis. Thesis. Thesis.

Today, one difference.

I went inside.

“The navy one, please. I’m at Trinity.”

What’s it like to be done – actually done? The cover is hard, with my name, the school, and the year on the spine in gold. A surge of pride, coupled with a thread of loss. Slightly weepy – why? I never, ever thought I’d have a Master’s portfolio for Creative Writing, let alone one from Trinity. All the years I thought such an accomplishment was impossible for me. I must not be the same person. I am the same person. The air is thick with rain and the smell of leaves; the streets are full with suits and kids in school uniform carrying hurleys. Thesis done. One week left in Dublin. Victory beans on toast at the cafe next door.

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12 Comments Add yours

  1. Nancie says:

    Congratulations! I remember finishing my graduate work…awesome doesn’t quite describe the feeling 🙂

    1. ieatmypigeon says:

      Thank you, Nancie! I’m feeling pretty happy myself. Of course now there’s the whole… “Oh crap. Guess I need to get back to work” thing but… well, it had to happen some time, didn’t it? Got to get back on that other horse!

  2. Gray says:

    Congratulations! I remember the feeling well.

  3. Margo says:

    don’t remember the feeling because I’ve not had that particular experience, but I imagine it’s pretty damned good. Congratulations to you! I’d love to know more about what subject you are now an expert in 😉

  4. anna says:

    What an accomplishment! Huge! Nedless to say we are so proud! Even more proud ! Indeed we always were and always knew you were a writer! So happy for you to have finally proven that to the world!!!
    Now go write that best-seller girl!!!!! Love from all of us.

  5. Fida says:

    Congratulations! Wow! And enjoy your beans and the last week in Dublin!

  6. Danielle says:

    So happy for you! Enjoy it, you deserve every happy-weepy moment. 🙂

  7. Rebecca says:

    Congratulations – very exciting! When I handed my thesis in I felt like I could finally start living again 🙂

  8. Marie says:

    Congratulations! It’s an awesome feeling isn’t it? I completely relate to your after-feelings. I remember picking mine up from the bindery and holding it and thinking, ‘Wow. Maybe I WAS clever enough afterall’. I went for black with silver lettering although my dissertation was in sociolinguistics rather than creative writing which sounds much more cool! What is that place in the third photo? Is it the binder’s or the coolest themed cafe ever?

  9. Robin says:

    I know the stretch of street so well. The Bleeding Horse, Whelans, The Village. Well done by the way!Strange feeling to read someone blogging about Dublin sitting here in Tarifa. It (Dublin) is not my home anymore..

  10. Add my congratulations. And reading your beautiful, evocative writing, I would never have doubted you could do it.

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