Recently one of my CSU students invited me to sit in as she defended her Masters thesis. (Iâ€™ll call her K.) I had helpedÂ K. with some Latin translation last semester as part of her research but hadnâ€™t seen her since.
K. was a memorable character. Beginning Latin in 2006 as a sophomore in her late twenties, she went on to take all the Latin she could get at CSU. At the same time, she was raising three kids as a single mom and working full time to support them.
She was a good student. She purchased flashcards that go along with our Wheelock Latin text and kept them wrapped in a rubber band in her purse. Whenever she was waiting for one of her classes to start, sheâ€™d pull out her vocab and review.
When she graduated, she decided to continue straight on with grad school. She had grown to love the academic life and resolved to pursue a Masters degree in medieval history.
So, amazingly, since 2006, this single mother of three had completed both her Bachelors degree and Masters degrees. In my experience, nobody completes these things on time. Everyone always needs an extension on her thesis writing. Not K.
So, when I walked into the conference room at about 1:00 for her thesis defenseÂ and greeted her, sitting at the long conference table chatting with a friend whoâ€™d also come to lend support, and I overheard the word â€œinduced,â€ I said, â€œNo. Donâ€™t tell me.â€
K. stood up. She was very pregnant. Since Iâ€™d seen her the previous semester, sheâ€™d gotten married. Now she was a pregnant mother of three, finishing grad school, and working full-time. I expressed admiration and awe.
Â â€œWait,â€ her friend said. â€œThereâ€™s more.â€
Â K. explained calmly that immediately after her thesis defense, she was heading to the hospital, there to have labor induced. She planned to have the baby around 5:00 pm that day.