Graduating makes me very sentimental. If commencement was the Grammys I would have so many people to thank. But mostly it comes down to
1. My family. Some of them cheer more loudly for me than others, but they each made the long trip from Indiana to watch me walk across that stage. That’s how I know they care.
2. More specifically, my parents. I’m one of those silly kids who calls her mom every day. She may not always know what I’m talking about or how it makes me feel, but I usually tell her it all anyways. And my dad. Who bravely travels to this loathed city just to tell me he’s proud of me. I think that’s the definition of good parenting.
3. My SLPeeps. The girls in my department. They are the ones, the only ones, who not only KNOW what I’m going through, but can actually feel the pain and pride along the way. Here’s to the best girls in the whole wide world.
(photo credit to the stranger passing by)
4. To God. I don’t have a picture of Him. But I do have a picture of what He’s done for me. I think I’m often insecure about claiming God to the public as I’m a rather timid preacher. But the reality is that God work in my life is more than religious rituals and ridiculous dress codes. It peace in the storm and grace to keep going. And I can’t take credit for that.
5. and finally, you, my readers and askers and prayers and carers. I, like humans almost everywhere, benefit from the support of people. So thank you, people, for your support!
And now that the Grammys are over, on the with show.
So. Graduation, for me, took place in 2 separate events. The first was on Tuesday and was a ceremony for all the graduates from the Biobehavioral Science Department at Teachers College. It took place in an amazing Cathedral with intimate (poor) lighting. Temple Grandin spoke. And we walked. We didn’t get diplomas. We didn’t get caped. But we did graduate.
Our gowns had silly sleeves to mark our Masters. I used mine to hold my.. phone, student ID, lip gloss, camera lens cover, foam apple, and confetti pouch. Handy.
At the post commencement reception. I had an awkward encounter with a first year committee member who informed me that there was a Kosher selection of food off to the side. Otherwise, it was a nice time in a room full of people I love and the strangers they brought with them (our families were invited).
Ceremony 2: Was on Wednesday. On the main Columbia campus, for all of Columbia’s 16 schools, plus their two affiliate schools, Barnard and Teachers College. It was full to say the least. That said, it was incredibly fun. Eloquent presidental speakers, the rumbling of feet on bleachers, and the head of each college pleading the president with sassy superlatives to grant us our degrees. Embarrassingly intelligent, they called us. Always good looking, they said. Sacrificing everything. Sleep. Nutrition. Time. Indebted. Indebted to our faculty. But poorly timed pausing left for masses of laughter for we are each much indebted indeed. There was confetti. Every college carried a token to represent. We got stress-ball apples because we are teachers. The comment was made that we should have gotten these when we started. Some got inflatable globes or hammers. Some carried fun fans. Even an inflatable orca made an appearance. We cheered mid-speech. We sang and grooved our way to the granting of degrees.
(Photo credits- Allison and her phone)
(Poor quality phone selfie. Just keepin it real.)
And I was hit by the beautiful ending of it all. Grad school was as it should be. The worst and the best. The hardest and the greatest and the mostest (whatever that means). But I do know that I’ve never been so crazy, so busy, or so rewarded as I have been in these last two years. And I know that life changes. And some of my best days are yet to come. But this day, these days, this time (however I should word it) rank pretty high for me.
Of Note: The content of this blog is about to change (somewhat) dramatically as my identity shifts. School is, in many ways, especially in grad school 700 miles from home, all consuming. And now I have time to be consumed with something else. To figure out how the other half of the world lives. And where I fit into it all. Don’t worry. As the title of this blog implies, I will be taking you along with me through (some of) it.