As of 5/8/2010, I am no longer a student. I feel somewhat conflicted about this, as "student" has been a label I've comfortably worn for, basically, my entire life. And so, even though I view graduation ceremonies as a chore and the black cap and gowns as comical, when it was all over, I didn't want to part with my costume with its jaunty black cap, my last shred of enrolled student-hood.
My supportive mom and dad flew out to visit us in San Antonio for the event. I'm so grateful for my parents and the emphasis they placed on education. College was never an option--it was always an expectation. And they never set limits on what they expected or what we could achieve.
Our Lady of the Lake University caters to minorities. I have mixed feelings about this, but I know that for many it's a good thing. During her speech, the university president asked all of the graduates to stand who were the first in their families to receive a college education. At least half of the black-robed figures rose.
Education has been such a large part of my heritage that it was difficult for me to imagine life in their shoes. I was impressed, particularly as I realized that these individuals had become transitional figures for their families, building the foundations of a legacy similar to the one I received from my parents and grandparents.
My mom is awesome. She's beautiful and classy. She's also unbelievably cold-blooded (as in, she's cold all the time. Not as in, murder.) Which is why she's wearing that very old, very comfortable zip-up hoodie on a semi-formal occasion--it was all she brought, and apparently the auditorium was chilly. I couldn't empathize, completely swathed in my black gown as I was.
My friend Beckie and I. My classmates were wonderful--I have a lot of admiration and respect for all of them.
Just in case you're bored, here's some closeups of my face. Nothing rekindles interest like a profile shot and a swinging tassel.
And just in case you happen to be on the fence about pursuing graduate education, just take a look at these sleeves. That ought to tip the scales.
(Notice I didn't say which way the scales would tip. That was intentional.)
Jay. Without whose support I wouldn't have done it. He enables and encourages, affirms and acknowledges.