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I want to tell you about all the things that have been going on but I can't. I'm too excited. The easiest way to express myself is through metaphor. Tonight I will explain to you the dynamics of the MastersCoaster.

The roller coaster of graduate school is pretty hard to ride. There is the getting in line, finding out you are qualified to ride and then strapping yourself in. You've walked past a million signs warning you of the risks, and yet you kept going. Multiple times in this process you thought to yourself, "Is this really a good idea?"

The ride starts, cranking you up this slope that seems like it may not have a top. But you were accepted and you've paid all this money so you can't really get off now. About 20 feet from the top, when the drop-off seems too horrendous for you to bear, your stomach drops out - but not in the good way. You want to get off. Usually, so does the kid behind you who keeps threatening to hurl.

But you don't. Because the truth is, once you're on, you're on (unless the ride breaks down - but let's leave that out of the equation for the moment). As scared as you are to go down the big hill, as soon as gravity kicks in, you're there. The thrill of the ride completely takes over. For some people it takes until the second hill. Or the third. But by the time you've gotten off, most people would agree that it was worth it.

Don't forget all the loop-de-loops and spinning. The wind is rushing so fast; your life seemingly going a million miles a minute. And some people are screaming for the fun of it, and some really are terrified. You can have all of those emotions at the same time. It is real on a roller coaster. The MastersCoaster is no exception.

So that is how I am feeling right now. I am hanging on to the bar in front of me with white knuckles one moment, and flying along laughing the next. At the next turn, I have no idea what is going to happen. But now that I'm on, I can't really get off. I don't want to get off. Because the thrill is too exciting. It draws me in. The same way the screams of excitement brought me to the ride and convinced me to jump on.

Right now the MastersCoaster and I are having a good time. The ride seems not only worth the time and investment, but the emotional and physical riggors too. Tomorrow might be a different story. But that's for tomorrow. Tonight, I am going to sit back and enjoy the ride.

Love always, ~Heather