Friday, November 5, 2010

To walk or not to walk

I'm supposed to finally graduate from college at the end of this year. Thanks please hold your applause. While i've been finishing my degree online for the past few years I do have the option to go to a real in person graduation. I never really gave it much thought, but the other night while driving home from Bunco I was talking to K on the phone about the fact that we are both finishing this year. She asked if i had to option to walk and i mentioned that i did someplace in Virginia but that i wasn't planning on doing it. She was surprised. That hit me first because K and i went to high school together and i didn't go to that graduation either.

Something about 1100 people in a hot auditorium with no AC in June and your name not even being called really wasn't appealing.
I'm pretty sure i spent graduation day at either Coney Island or or maybe Riis beach.

I mean wouldn't you?

So she went on about how it was a good idea because i'm finally done, how i should do it for my daughter's benefit, blah blah. And thats when i said dial it back because those really don't seem like good reasons. At least not in my case. So lets go over them shall we?

Reason #1 - I'm finally finished. I graduated from high school 15 years ago and i've attended college a total of 3 times. dropped out the 1st time while pregnant with C1, dropped out the 2nd time when the pressure of a 55 hour/week job, being single and finding out something was wrong with C1 was the 2nd time. This time i've stuck with it and here i am. OK I'll give you that one. Sense of accomplishment is pretty nice.

Reason #2 - Do it so C1 gets to see you walk and feels proud of you. This is where reality sets in. The chances C1 will be able to stay in her section during the ceremony, understand the concept of this being college versus this being any other graduation ceremony and her being proud of me. Unfortunately is not going to happen. it will be much less emotionally taxing for me to not do and have her watch. The noise level is bound to send her into a tailspin. i still have the mental images from my cousin's graduation 3 or 4 years ago and how as quiet as it was C1 was still a bit shaken by it. C1's elementary school graduation? lets just say she  raised her hand, got handed a mic and asked if it was over yet. that was after i knew she was already gone with the amount of twitching she had been doing on stage the previous 20 minutes. I think i'll save that trauma.

Reason #3 - I skipped my high school graduation. Yeah so i think thats a tally in the don't do it column. Why mess with a good thing?

Reason #4 - For my family. Well not so much. I sorta ruined that by not doing high school. I'm the first born grandchild on both sides. People were very much looking forward to me graduating, i really didn't care just that i finished so i could go away to college in another state. My grandparents were disappointed i chose not the walk. they told me it sure wasn't implied. i considering only one of them is still alone i'm doubting this will fix that. Also I come from a randomly educated family. I wasn't really the first person to go to college. My mother has a Masters degree. i think i went i was really little and i recall being able to not see her and hearing even less. she got some other degree when i was in high school. i didn't go to that ceremony either but i don't think i was invited. i should ask her. besides the fact that my mother has more education then i do (how's that for a teen mom!) i also have aunts and uncles with various degrees including from one law school. as for my cousins there's only one degree there, we are clearly a set of underachievers. Anyway there is really none of that first to graduate from high school, go to college, go to grad school legacy achievement. I'm more educated then my grandparent's generation but not my parents.

Reason #5 - This is my last chance. Thats entirely possible. I have zero plans to go to grad school. I always knew i'd go to college always figured i'd finish sooner rather then later but grad school exited my mind the more i got real world working experience. i'm in an industry where grad school degrees really don't happen, you get that internship and start working before you even get out of school and go to work more once you finish that bachelors, or you get that low job and work your ass up.

So I don't think there's really a convincing case for doing more then paying my fee and waiting for my degree to show up in the mail.

So what do you think? Have a compelling reason why i should or shouldn't walk? Leave it in the comments.


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