As many of you know, this woman from lma was fortunate enough to be able to collect several college degrees. Most of my early life was spent on one side of the desk or the other as I was either trying to learn something or trying to teach students something.
Although I was accepted into a doctoral program later on, I decided to continue teaching without benefit of that degree had I even been bright enough to earn it.
When I was hired at New Mexico State University, I was finishing work on an education specialist degree in counseling and guidance, but I didn’t have a master’s in English, only in counseling and guidance. I promised to go to work on that Master’s immediately. Vice President Bill O’Donnell, who had hired me, said I could take it at NMSU, but I felt a little too close to members of the English Department to take further classes from them. After all, I had majored in English for my bachelor of arts degree there. As a result, I decided to drive down the road to enter the University of Texas at El Paso. By attending summer school, I managed to earn that master’s in 1971.
Recently, I received a notice from UTEP addressed to Dr. Mary Lynn Moncus, Ed.D. ’71. That caused me to pause for a second when I should have acted in a hurry and told them I had lost my diploma from them. Well, I needed to be a little honest; thus, I called the number listed since part of the notice advised me they were putting out a large publication about today’s alumni in celebration of UTEP’s centennial.
As usual, I wound up talking to a woman in Pennsylvania who had a problem with my rather twisted sense of humor. After some talking, I managed to get her to use her computer to check on the truth of what I was saying.
At long last, she found that I had not earned a doctorate in education, but a mere master’s in English. She then wanted to know what title to use in the publication.
She seemed a bit surprised when I replied that she could use that granted by NMSU, “Associate Professor Emerita.” She couldn’t believe I had reached professorial status, but I told her I had proof of that as I was granted a certificate which I display on a wall in my home.
After all that, she tried to convince me of my need to buy the publication because of my close attachment to classmates there. Summer classes don’t allow time for major friendships to form because most older students are on campus for classes only and are then off to their homes to study until the next day
I don’t think she understood my comments about my not having to be a lady because I am an Aggie who has three degrees from a “cow college” and who also has a degree from a College of Mines, as UTEP was once known. Just being myself is about all I can manage or ever could.
Life really can be a lot of fun it we want it to be.
Lynn Moncus is a Tucumcari resident and can be contacted through the Quay County Sun by calling 575-461-1952.