A funny thing happened on the way to my librarian degree.
But first, a confession. My master's degree in Information Science has been in limbo for a long, long, long time. I mean, I worked as a librarian for many years, and I took all the classes and everything, but when I finished my master's-degree coursework at Florida State in 2002 (or was it 2003?), I kinda sorta owed the school money. And they wouldn't give me my degree until it was 100% paid off.
This meant that I did not have that coveted credential that is the sine qua non of library-job riches: "You must have an MLS degree from an ALA-accredited school." (in job listings, this is sometimes written with a sneer).
I made the last payment in 2006. Or did I? According to my recollection, I never actually sent in the last payment. No payment, no diploma. But in 2006 I was too busy screwing up my life to take care of such details. I was a depressive in survival mode, and I figured this was one more thing that was never going to get fixed. Who needed their silly old degree anyway?
Recently, though, I've been in the process of cleaning up my credit and trying to clear past financial wreckage. So I summoned up my nerve and I called FSU to see if my degree was still on hold. The nice man on the phone told me he had good news and bad news: Yes, my degree was on hold. And I owed ... wait for it ... a single penny. Which FSU generously wrote off.
That didn't end the matter, quite. It took a little time for the plucky, intrepid FSU staff to track down my transcript (most of my school records had been destroyed years ago). But track it down they did, and they conferred my degree retroactively as of 2006. At long last, my diploma arrived, and it's a beaut!
So now I am a bona fide, real-live, I'm-better-than-you-are-because-I-have-a-piece-of-paper librarian. Oh, pardon me. "Librarian" is so passe, so card-catalogue. What I am is an information scientist.
With a big-ass librarian diploma.