Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Dissappointment at the end of the tunnel

Have I mentioned before that there is no commencement ceremony if you graduate in August from UAB? I am so sad.

I wasn't big on walking in undergrad. In fact, I almost didn't, but one of my best friends told me I'd regret it if I didn't and she would have been very right. Plus, I'm always a fan of a good photo opportunity, so at the last minute I signed up and walked at the end of my 5th-year for a 4-year degree.

That day I NEVER in a million years thought I'd go back to school. It only took a few short months (maybe even weeks) for me to change my mind though.

Then when I decided to go back to school, I never imagined how hard it would be! I was told there was an interview process to be accepted into the program, which I was fine with. In fact, I didn't think twice about it. I dressed fairly business casual and didn't really even think about what I would say because I thought, no big deal, we'll just talk and all will be fine. Well, it was much more intense and intimidating than I ever thought.

My grandfather was ill that day and minutes before my name was called my mom called to tell me that he had suddenly passed away. I literally said to my mom, "I can't hear that right now, I'll have to call you back." Deep breath... and I went into a room with 5 professors. Deep breath. They began asking me questions like, "What are some experiences you have had working with diverse populations?" Uh... diverse? Hmm.... my answer: "I hiked 12-miles to the bottom of the grand canyon to spend a week with the Havasupai tribe." Yep... that was about it. (Maybe if I had planned I could have come up with more activities, volunteer projects and extraordinary things I had done.) Throughout the interview I was told I was prejudiced, inexperienced and very sheltered. Keep in mind... my grandfather had JUST passed away also. When I was told I was prejudiced I remember taking a HUGE deep breath and saying to myself... just don't cry in front of these people.... DON'T CRY. Amazingly enough (every emotion I have comes out in tears)... I didn't.

I left the interview (convinced I would never be accepted and needed to find a new plan for life) and a professor that would later become one of my favorite stepped out with me and asked me if I was okay. Open the floodgates.... (I can hold it in pretty well until you ask that question) I bawled about my grandfather and probably blubbered a few other random things before telling him "Thank you for this opportunity."

Well, after all that I was surprisingly accepted into the program.

Sorry, I got a little side-tracked.

Back to graduation.

So this degree has been a huge growing experience for me. I have really learned to stand on my feet during all of this and have become passionate about something that I actually feel I am good at. A feeling I did not have when I graduated the first time.

I was REALLY looking forward to graduation.

(Not so much the green cap and gown though.)

So now that I have learned that there is not a graduation ceremony for summer graduates, I have a few options: Walk the semester after I graduate (which will be when a very close friend of mine is also walking) or don't walk at all and rent a cap & gown of a more flattering color and go stand by our very fun 'Blazer' statue that also happens to blow smoke for a picture or two.


I have also told Ben a trillion times once or twice that he needs to plan a huge graduation party for me because I am not planning my own (or probably will and just sign Ben's name to everything... I've never been a fan of planning my own parties to celebrate me). This party is even MORE important now that there will be no actual ceremony!

Well, today Ben received an email from his company asking to please let them know if they, their spouses or children have graduated/will graduate this year so they can be recognized in some form or fashion that Ben thinks will be with a party. (WOO!)

I said, "SIGN ME UP!" Ben is a little shocked and probably embarrassed that I want to do this. I don't really know anyone at his company since he and I have worked over an hour apart for 3 years and they haven't had any company functions since the economy went to crap.

But, I have worked very hard for this degree and I'll take any recognition I can get (or any excuse to go to a party)!

So what would you do? Walk late? Not walk? Rent a cap & gown? Give the 'Blazer' a huge hug?!


  1. When my Mom graduated from UAB in 2008 with her masters you could not even think about getting near the dragon! I would rent the cap and gown for the photo opp on a less hectic day. That way dragon only has eyes for you!

  2. Better yet don't pay to rent it put an ad on Craigslist and see if anyone has one lying around, who the heck wants to keep that green thing...

  3. If I would have known that I would be graduating from UAB 2 times, I would have kept my cap and gown. It's funny, I don't remember the color of the cap and gown. For some reason, I am thinking they might have been black. I will have to dig around for some photos. I think you should ABSOLUTELY take Ben's office up on a party! I am so proud of you and all of the hard work you have put into these past few years. I admire you greatly! Come on....walk with me!

  4. yay for graduating!!!
    i am so sorry about that interview! I mean i know you made it in, but i felt horrible for you! I am the same way, can hold it in, until someone asks me how i am!! YIKES. I once cried in my english professor's office. i was so embarrassed! But yay you made it & graduated! :) Idk if i'd walk though... i might would do it the semester after & have ben throw me a party after. ;)

  5. I say do it all lady, you earned it! Take a photo shoot now in better colors, walk with your friend, have your own party, and take full advantage of whatever his work wants to give you! You totally deserve it all!

  6. I say do it all too!!!!! After all...this is your last graduation, right?? :) I have a black cap and gown if you want to borrow it!!!! That is if you can handle wearing a "Florida State" gown!

  7. It irks me that educated people would call you prejudiced just because you didn't have that many "diversified" experiences. If anything, they prejudged you. I may think this because I a white, but to me being a little sheltered in your own culture does not cause you to have a prejudice toward those of other cultures. And you, for one, have never shown that around me. You are nothing but the epitome of kindness and care regardless of background, etc. Anyway, off my soap box - heard too much of that diversity class you have to take from Claire.

    Back to graduation: I didn't walk for my masters because there were just so many people and you really don't get that much more recognition...only a hood that you wear. You're only up there for a few seconds and you have to spend so much money on a cap and gown and graduation fees that I didn't feel it was no one looks good in green and gold! I say, just have a grand party to celebrate! I'll join you!


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