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It only took 5 years, lots of encouragement from MoC, loans I refuse to think about and 2 AA batteries*, but I did it. Turning in the last paper for my last class was extremely satisfying, but I didn’t really feel like I had actually graduated until today. MoC was right. Again. Damn it.

We were kind of milling around backstage, trying to get in numerical order (because apparently, receiving a bachelor’s or master’s degree doesn’t necessarily mean we can count), and then we stood around waiting for it to start. That’s when the bagpipers walked through. And when I heard the drums … and the bagpipes … and I looked around … and I realized … I made it. And that’s when I almost started to cry. Before the processional, before the speeches, before the stranger read my name from a card and I walked across the stage. I almost had a meltdown before it even started.

They called out the degrees, then the specialties and we all got to stand and be recognized in our little groups. And when they called Bachelor of Science, Information Technology, Networking and Telecommunications, I got to stand in an arena with only 2 men standing next to me. Of course, they were on either side of me and no one could actually see me …

And then there was a boring speech, and a funny speech, and another boring speech and then I got to walk across the stage and receive my fake scroll diploma.

But the best part? Was when it was over and we were supposed to be filing out in an orderly manner and I saw my brother in the first row, so I broke rank and walked over to him and we ducked out a side door to go find MoC and Leslie. He put his arm around me and told me he was really proud of me. Then he said, “Do you want a shock?”

And I said, “Hell, yes!”

And he laughed. “I said shock, not shot.”

Then he said, “When you were walking across the stage and you looked so serious … I saw Dad.”

Which is really fucking weird, because as I was walking across the stage and I looked so serious, I was thinking about my dad. And I wished he could have been there – but I think he probably was.

I look tall, don’t I? But that’s what happens when MoC takes your picture … while she’s sitting on the couch.

  

*I gave my camera to my brother – but forgot to put fresh batteries in it. So Leslie dug in her purse and found 2 AA batteries. Who carries batteries in their purse??

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