The big night finally came. I marched in the academic graduation ceremony on Friday evening and was ceremoniously "hooded" as an M.F.A. in Professional Writing graduate from Western Connecticut State University. My mother, husband, daughter, and son came to watch me march down the aisle.
Although I wasn't at first thrilled about participating, in the end I was happy I did it. As with most rituals, this one put closure on what I'm finally realizing was quite an accomplishment. It was also so good to see some of my M.F.A. colleagues again.
I also realized it's been twenty-four years since I participated in a graduation ceremony. I graduated in 1984 with a B.A. in English from Southern Connecticut State University. As new pictures were snapped of the M.F.A. me, it was a good time to take a trip down memory lane and open up the scrapbooks.
Here I am, when I was 22-years-old, getting my bachelor's degree. Everything was looking up --we were young and ready to conquer the world! I had originally been a biology major (pre-med) for three years and sort of double-majored in English because I liked it, but finally realized my true calling was with the language and words, and ended up graduating with a B.A. English, specialization in professional writing, and a Minor in Biology.
This was my college graduation portrait. For anyone wondering, you are probably the closest to ever seeing my hair color in its most natural state. I began going gray in my thirties -- much too early for me!
Graduation. Again. I'm glad I did it. Now I'll take it the next step and do it. I'll write. I'll publish. I'll keep the dream alive and make it real.
To all of my fellow graduates, and those of you who pursue your passions...
"I hope your dreams take you... to the corners of your smiles, to the highest of your hopes, to the windows of your opportunities, and to the most special places your heart has ever known.” Unknown.