Okay, let me explain. No, I'm not in trouble with the Law. At least, not that I know of. Let's step into the Wayback Machine and revisit this.
Okay, remember that letter I got from the Graduate School? It said my admission was provisional, pending my performance in class and getting some prerequisites done. Well, in the interim, they rolled the prerequisites into the regular core courses, so all I had to do was keep a B or better in my first 3 classes.
Got my final grade back today for the Management of Software Systems class. Made an A. Once again, ass kicking deferred. The final exam was crazy, though. There's open-ended questions and then there's "write me a book about ___." I wrote 26 pages, then changed the font and margins to save some trees, even still I had 21 pages to turn in. I think I heard weeping on the other end of that email.
So that's now three A's for my coursework. A 4.0 GPA. Not too shabby a start. This means that the provisional status is removed and I'm now a fully admitted Grad Student in Good Standing. Yahoo! (Or you can yell Google! Whatever trips your trigger.)
It's been hard keeping up study discipline the past three semesters. Work gets so insane that it takes time away from reading, research, writing and just plain old nose-in-the-textbook studying before test time, but that's what pays the bills, so I just cowboy up and deal with it. My boss is working on his Master's too, so he's sympathetic and helpful, too. It's good, because we can trade on-call support nights with each other for class time and such.
Besides work, I got family, community projects, lawn care (grass doesn't mow itself - but what an AWESOME genetic engineering project we could work on!!) and at some point, working off the sleep debt. Everyone has been really supportive, and I can't thank you all enough.
I've still got a long way to go, and it's only going to get harder. I hope I can stick with it. Discipline, hard work, and dedication are what it's going to take. Support from friends and family help a lot too. Onward!