The ol' postal service delivered the diploma cover for my master's in computer science today. This was after receiving my diploma rolled up tightly in a cardboard tube a couple weeks back with a postcard voucher for a diploma cover. That was after skipping (sorry, Mom) the six hour graduation ceremony I wasn't keen to sit through at the beginning of May. That was after actually finishing up last December. That was after taking (cough) 9 (eh hem) years to finish it while working full-time, being married, moving a few times, throwing away 9 credits due to transfer, throwing away another pile of credits after abandoning my first thesis, finishing a basement, designing and building another house, and raising a baby to a pre-schooler.
I am far prouder of this degree than I ever was my bachelor's. I was raised with the expectation of getting a college degree. It was always a foregone conclusion in my mind that I would finish that one. I struggled a bit with my bachelor's (I'm looking at you Electric Circuits I), but I never had reason or occasion to consider quitting. I can't count the times I wanted to give up on the master's.
Special thanks to my wife and daughter for putting up with me during all that, to my adviser, Rocky Ross, for helping me finish, to Neal Richter for nagging my butt into gear more than once, and to Erich Hannan, my boss through most of that interval, for supporting me doing work and school.