3rd year MACP student Jari Hackmeister rejoices over and recoils from the end of her time as a student at MHGS.
I graduate in 2 weeks and 3 days.
The thing is, coming into this place, I never really expected to get out. They said things like, “You’ll counsel one of your classmates while 6 other students and two facilitators watch and critique.” Ok, SURE. They said, “Write a paper expressing what you know of the issues and dynamics of your family of origin, and how its influenced and implicated your style of relating.” YEAH, uh huh. And they said, “Obtain an internship at at an eligible site and be a therapist to real people for hundreds of hours.” Wha… “Oh, and of course you’ll be unprepared and inadequate to do so. That’s what internships are for!”
For reasons I have been called to name, though I won’t do so here, I really expected to be able to get out of some of these things. I expected a big “Just kidding! Wouldn’t that have been RIDICULOUS?!?!” or at least an “April Fools!” But no. They weren’t kidding about any of it. They really asked us to do that stuff. And we did it. But the most unbelievable part is what they’re saying now: “Congratulations. You’ve finished.”
When Kristen Houston: Registrar EXTRAORDINAIRE, said those words to me, I came back with a quick, “Well what if I don’t want to be!? What if I WANT to take more classes this summer? What if I don’t want to go?!”
I don’t want to go. Nearing the end of three years at Mars Hill Graduate School, I am taking inventory of friends and transformations, but also of moments missed. I am grieving the classes I spent online shopping and Facebook leering. I am struggling with the limits of my mind, my soul, and my concentration that were taxed before the terms were over. I want back the office hours I neglected to schedule, the happy hours I opted out of, and the reading groups I just couldn’t engage after that class. You don’t get a chance at 3 years of Mars Hill Graduate School just any day. My time is nearly spent.
Now it’s Spring (believe it or not, Seattlelites). And it’s Lent. So we’re reminded at the same time that after seasons of death there is life, and that our lives are like the wind and we are dust. There is death in ending at Mars Hill Graduate School. Friends will move away, we’ll all have to get real jobs, and grocery shopping at noon on a Tuesday is just over. But I also have so much life in me coming out of these three years. I know it because all my grief (read: utter denial) is not without tiny blossoms of new dreams budding. There are once again things on the horizon of my life that sound completely absurd – but I know now what I can expect from myself when the expectation seems impossible.
So until I walk with my cohort on June 25, you’ll find me in that beautiful building when I have no business there, sitting in on classes I’ve already “completed”, and hugging people for longer than may be socially normal. And after that – after all this – you’ll see me go.