After nearly 8 years working at LSU - selling the campus to potential students and working with its alumni - today, I feel like I’m officially joining the club. And it has been a long journey. I took my first Public Admin class in the spring semester of 2008. It was Seminar in Public Administration, back when Dr. White still taught it. I missed four classes (all due to work), somehow still made an A, and decided this was a program I could see myself enjoying. Six years and a few hiatuses later, I have finally made it through the 42 credit hours in 14 classes.
I know I wouldn't have had a chance to make this happen without the support of my other half. She is the one who made the true sacrifices: working with me through the night classes, rushed research papers, and group meetings- even after Lily’s debut 3 years ago and wrangling two kids during the past two months. Rachel, for this, I wholeheartedly thank you my dear.
I also owe a huge thank you to my professors for their knowledge and inspiration as well as their willingness to share it. I know that I am a much more informed and engaged citizen because of the understanding I have gained and the experiences I endured. I know so much more about bureaucracy and what it means to be a true public servant. Not a politician, mind you, but someone genuinely concerned with making a difference in the day-to-day lives of the average citizen. I also now know that a grade of 89.88% is a not an A, no matter how bad you want it to round up. Numbers are objective and care not what side of the line they fall upon, and that’s really what makes them so wonderfully terrible. And as fate would have it, that B would be the only one I made in grad school. Lessons are learned holistically in PADM.
Make no mistake, now that I am an “authentic” Tiger, it doesn't change a thing about how I feel about LA Tech. It will always be my first love. It gave me the knowledge and the foundation to get me where I am today and without a shred of doubt I feel like I've been a part of the best Louisiana has to offer in higher education. English majors can make it in this world!
Anyway, time to walk across the stage and grab that coveted piece of paper that represents countless hours of reading books and journal articles, writing policy analyses, crunching CAFRs, listening to guest lecturers, and correlating data sets. Fun fact: I have never once sang the LSU Alma mater, not at a football game or even hummed along with the memorial tower at noon. Today, I feel like I might give it a shot.