Chapter 11 – Meeting Sadie

When I got to the College of Nursing at 845 South Damen, Marianna was waiting for me in the lobby. Since we’d completed our bachelor’s degrees two years earlier, she’d moved west of the city, an hour away from my southern suburb, and we’d begun planning to meet in the city and do another degree together. After comparing catalogues, courses, and costs of several universities, we settled on U of I and then spent a few anxious months hoping for our acceptance.

Excited as kids trick-or-treating for Halloween candy, we scampered across the street to the Illini Union bookstore to buy our books. Armed with two paper shopping bags apiece, we returned to the College of Nursing for an orientation session. We stood first in line at the closed door of the first floor assembly hall. All of a sudden, a woman opened the door, almost uprooting us. She called out, “Please move back, everyone, and make room for the graduate students to enter.”

Marianna and I backed up, allowing those behind us to enter the room. It occurred to us, at the same time, we were graduate students. We’d hardly had enough time, as old diploma school grads, to think of ourselves as bachelor’s grads. Maybe my former professor was right: I’d have a diploma mentality the rest of my life! Trying to contain our hysterics, we joined the others.

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