Friday, May 6, 2011

"To Every Thing There is a Season...

And a time to every purpose, under heaven". Whether you know this lyric as a Byrds song, or as Ecclesiastes 3:1, we are entering into Graduation season. No sooner do college grads walk across the stage, the high school grads follow, and then the kindergarten graduates as well. As Americans, we love to celebrate these "next steps" in life. The end of one season, and the transition to a new season--with new purpose. That is why every graduation I have ever been a part of  has been a momentous one.

Me, Age 6 Kindergarten Graduation

My first graduation, Kindergarten graduation, was a momentous one. In the middle of the ceremony, when my class was singing "The Months Of The Year" song, I started bawling. My mother chalked it up as stage fright, but at the reception afterward, when I pulled up my shirt to reveal a pock mark next to my belly button--she quickly realized that my tears where a symptom of Chicken Pox (this was prior to the vaccination). That pock mark lead to a neighborhood epidemic, including my mom. This day, also marked my transition into public elementary school (I went to private Lutheran preschool and kindergarten), when I finally had the chance of being in class with my best friend--a big deal to any little kid. It is also marks one of the final memories I have of my mom before she passed when I was in 2nd grade.

Me, Age 18 High School Graduation

High school graduation was just as momentous. It marked my transition into adult-hood. Though my mother witnessed my graduation from heaven, my dad could not have been more proud. I graduated 33rd in my class, with honors. And with 3 different scholarships to the college of my choice. Oakland University. It marked me setting out on my own, moving 50 minutes away from home, and living on my own. All while pursuing my Nursing degree, as a direct admit to the Nursing school, due to my high achievement in high school.

Me, Age 23 College Graduation

The most momentous of my graduations was my college graduation. I was the first person in my family, nuclear, extended, EVER, to graduate from college, let alone a 4 year university. This was the first time that I saw my dad prouder than my high school graduation. I graduated with a B.A. in English. A far cry from my intended B.S. in Nursing, I found that I preferred reading and writing, and that there was just too much pressure having someone's life resting in my hands. I graduated with departmental honors, and as a member of Sigma Tau Delta- English Honor Society, during the height of the Swine Flu. Shaking hands with the President and Dean was forbidden and close contact with friends was "at your own risk". But I was more worried about contracting the Bird Flu. A bird pooped on me right before the processional! Apparently, that means good luck, but I felt far from lucky at the time.

Despite all of the debacles of my various graduations, one thing rings true. How proud my dad, and I'm sure my mom were of me. So when it's time to spread the word about how proud you are of your graduate, you should check out Tiny Prints.

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