Monday, January 18, 2010


<insert Pomp and Circumstance>

As most of you know I have been working on my Educational Specialist Degree in Reading Instruction at The University of Virginia. An Ed.S degree is basically a Master’s, but it’s for people who have already earned a Master’s – it’s kinda like a step between Master’s and Doctorate. It was 2 fewer classes than another M.Ed, no electives since I already have an M.Ed.  My advisor (who also has an Ed.S) said that it’s a very “elite” degree because so few people have it. I think that’s because there are so few nerds like me who got 1 masters degree and then thought, “That was fun, I think I’ll do it again!”  I finished up all my classes last February, but due to paperwork and a few other “issues” I didn’t graduate until Aug.

It wasn’t that big of deal when I graduated, I had embarked on this degree for fun – seriously, I’m that’s big of a nerd! I really wanted to learn more about teaching reading and this degree would do that, and allow me to potentially leave the classroom to be a reading teaching one day.  I was more looking forward to the pay raise I would get in September, which was not dependent upon graduation! 

In mid-October I got a letter from UVA saying that my diploma was ready and I could come to Charlottesville to pick it up, or send them $9 and they’d mail it to me.  I thought that a day trip to Charlottesville would be fun, but unfortunately the Registrar was only open during regular business hours M-F.  

I had yet to get myself together and print the form and mail it to them and I realized that I could drive down there today! I double checked and yes the Registrar was open!  It was also the last day of Winter Break so I figured traffic would be nutty with everyone returning to campus – simulate the craziness of graduation day! :-)

The actual picking up of the diploma was anti-climatic!  I walked up to the desk, gave the gal my drivers license and she handed me my gigantic diploma.  Seriously, it’s huge.  She handed it to me along with the ribbon it’s supposed to be tied with and a mailing tube.  She suggested that I roll it up, but said that she wasn’t allowed to roll it for me.  (?) She then offered her congratulations, someone else standing there told me how pretty it was, and that was it!  I took it to the car and then rolled it up and put it in the tube until I can figure out about getting it framed. 

That took all of 5 minutes.  I had the rest of the day to play!  Originally I’d thought I’d go walk on the Lawn and take pictures of the Rotunda or something “UVA”, but I ultimately decided I wanted to go check out Deadulus, a used book store I’d found online and a few of the yarn/craft shops I’d found. 

Charlottesville has a great pedestrian mall! They took Main Street and closed it to cars!  It’s a lot like Caroline Street in Fredericksburg, only no cars.  All the stores I wanted to check out were over there so I found a place to park and set off!

I grabbed a quick lunch at Christian’s Pizza!  I had a yummy slice of spinach, feta, artichoke heart, mushrooms and pesto pizza! :-)   As I was wandering Main Street I noticed that there were a bunch of used book stores!  I checked out 3 of them but didn’t spend much time as I was pretty sure Deadulus was a big deal used book store. I found a great yarn store with all kinds of pretty stuff – I have to learn more about crocheting so I can make cool stuff with yarn!

Finally it was time for Deadulus! 

As you enter you see this sign on the door:

photoWhen you walk in you see that the sign wasn’t lying.  There were books everywhere.  In every corner of the front room there were books!  Books on shelves. Books on the floor.  Books in boxes.  Books everywhere.  There was  a gruff looking (and sounding) older man behind the desk who welcomed me warmly and asked if this was my 1st visit.  I said that it was, he offered me a map! I opted to set out on my own and browse.  He said if I needed anything to come ask.  It was then that I noticed he was seated in a power wheelchair!  Oddly enough he was also seated in what I’m sure is the only wheelchair accessible spot in the whole place!

I first headed toward the fiction section, which starts on the first floor and the descends the stairs into the basement.  I would later realize that what I’d first seen was just the paperback fiction!  The hardcover fiction took up almost the whole 1st floor! 


photo(4)  All told I spent about an hour and a half checking out almost every nook of the 3 levels of well organized books! I found 4 that I couldn’t live without and headed back to the desk to pay!

As I handed the man in charge the books he notice my top one Carl Hiaasen’s Sick Puppy – and said “ahhh…a little Hiaasen to make you laugh!”   I already liked the guy, now I liked him even more! :-)  He jotted the prices of my books down on paper and added it up in his head!  The paper he was using was filled with similar calculations from the day!  He swiped my card and then asked if I wanted a bag – when I said that I did he dug in his bag of recycled bags and pulled out a pharmacy bag to put my books in!  I left with promises to come back and bring my friends! :-) 

photo(2)I thought it was only fitting that I’d just graduated with  degree in teaching reading and I spent the day digging for great books in a huge used book store! :-)  

<end pomp and circumstance>