Remembering when I was a Master of English. Because I’m sure as heck not now.


After completing my undergraduate degree at Acadia University, it only seemed natural that I apply for graduate studies. Because that’s what you do if you go the Honours route, the thesis route, the I-don’t-want-to-leave-university route.

I had several offers, including one from the University of New Brunswick and McGill University. (Yet Dal didn’t accept me. WTF?)  UNB was appealing because there’s a lot of work going on there in regards to Canadian Literature. And McGill is McGill. And in Montreal.

But Acadia offered me the biggest package: something in the neighbourhood of $16,500.

And, of course, I was loathe to move because I detest moving with the passion of a thousand fiery root canals. Furthermore, who would want to leave this?

Since I did my undergraduate thesis in Creative Writing, there was no overlap in advisors when I decided to specialize in Canadian Literature for my graduate research Plus, I got to work on an awesome website specializing in contemporary Atlantic Literature. Yes, I got paid to read. And write.


Since I wrote my own story revolving around the Halifax Explosion, and ran into difficulties, I decided to focus on Halifax Explosion romances. This way I could kill two birds with one stone and research my story at the same time.

I loved doing my graduate degree—it was just like the fourth year of my undergrad. The small class discussions were always delightful. (Though you could never play hooky because when there’s just 5 people in the class, your absence is kinda noticed.)

But there’s something about hanging around, drinking coffee, and discussing literature that is just simply awesome.

If you’re willing to do a four year undergraduate degree, you might as well stick around one more year to get your Master’s degree.

If you’re going to drown in student loans, you might as well enjoy the water a bit longer.

Here’s some shots of Acadia during my sojourn.

I shared my carrel with a woman from the United Arab Emirates who called herself a “metaphorical lesbian” and installed this poster of Einstein on our door. Awesomeness. (I still have the poster.) It’s a great quote because it excuses my occasional lapses of intelligence.
This was my little carrel. While I did most of my work at home, I did hold office hours to tutor undergrads. Not one soul ever darkened my doorway.
The hallowed halls of academia. The carpets were stained.

While it would have been fun to move to Montreal for a year, or tour around Fredericton (which I hear is a bit like Charlottetown), I’ll never regret staying at Acadia one more year.

Sometimes, it’s hard to leave school.

At least until student loans won’t return your calls.


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