My wife and I moved to Pomona, CA in December 2004. That was over ten years ago. At that point, we had been married for exactly one year. She graduated with her music education degree the previous May, and I finished up my “musical arts” degree a few weeks earlier. We didn't know it at the time, but my wife was pregnant with our daughter; she was born the following September.
We moved to Pomona, from Rexburg, ID, so I could attend graduate school at Claremont Graduate University. In the twelve or eighteen months before I finished my bachelor's degree, I realized that the stuff I thought I was interested in doing weren't as interesting or exciting anymore. I started at BYU-Idaho on a jazz bass scholarship, thinking that that was what I was going to do with myself; I was going to be a jazz bassist (and a high school music teacher as a “backup plan”). Fast forward to the end of my bachelor's program, and I wasn't so interested in performing anymore, nor was I excited about the prospect of being a high school teacher. What I was excited about was learning about music and reading and writing about music. So, I found out that musicology was a thing, and figured out that *that* meant I needed to go to graduate school. I applied to a few programs, heard back from Claremont pretty quickly, they offered me some money, so I decided that CGU was the next step toward some sort of “career.”
Ten years, two kids, and a full-time, tenured position later, I walked across the stage at CGU’s 2015 Commencement ceremony and was “hooded” as a Doctor of Philosophy.* My kids have no idea what it is like to have a father that is *not* working on schooling or a dissertation. In fact, my son was born after I took my doctoral qualifying exams. I have been in school (though those 6+ years as ABD didn’t really “feel” like being in school) since I was five. I started Kindergarten in September 1987, and I have been “in school” ever since.
I am still trying to wrap my head around the fact that I am no longer a student working toward a diploma or degree. This is a new concept for me.
*Actually, due to some sort of mixup, I was hooded as a Doctor of Musical Arts, not as a Doctor of Philosophy, as I should have been. There were three of us getting PhDs in Musicology and three getting DMAs; the PhDs all got DMA hoods (pink), and the DMAs got PhD hoods (blue). After we all got back to our seats, we swapped clothes. Professional, indeed.