the day finally arrived. Graduation Day 2017---
However it almost didn't happen. Well, that isn't exactly accurate--Graduation Day at Utah State University was going to happen with or without me. What was in question was whether I would be there or not!
And no, it wasn't because I didn't turn in my last assignment. I actually turned it in a day before the deadline and that really didn't matter because we were just "walking" not actually graduating. We still have two classes left for the summer and will officially be done in August.
No, it start with Jena getting sick with a stomach bug on Tuesday morning which lasted for her until Thursday and then started for me on Wednesday night. I tried to manage work on Thursday because I really was pretending I wasn't getting sick but that lasted about 30 minutes before I headed out the door and home again. I was running a fever and all of the other stuff all day and was getting very discouraged about Friday. Gary kept saying we don't need to decide until Friday morning so I didn't.
About 4:00 a.m. I woke up and felt good and didn't have a temp so I was excited--the graduation "walk" was on! Then around 9:00 a.m. when I was starting to curl Jena's hair, I reached for the curling iron and picked up the wrong end--Ouch!! That set us back about 30 minutes while Gary fixed my hand and I took a break. (Randomly, although there were three little blisters at the time, they have cleared up in just a couple of days. A sweet mercy as I prepare for my trip to Japan.)
Finally I was ready to go and we headed to Logan with Grandma Hall and Jena. It was a beautiful day and spring is a pretty time to be on campus. This was my first and only time on campus as a student of Utah State University. I got dropped off a bit early so walked around a bit to think and to take some pictures.
|We arrived a bit early so we did a drive by|
of the Logan Temple
|This is one of our fun photos as we waited|
The Kaysville Cohort
The one with the red is our professor, Susan Egbert
In honor of Susan, many of us wore converse shoes--Susan wore them most days when she taught. I think she liked the gesture.
The first of many pictures of our shoes---Curt is in the dress shoe. His wife, not knowing, threw out his old converse shoes and he didn't realize it until he went to get them that morning.
|Amber Hellstrand and Cami|
|Lori and Suzie|
As I mentioned this was a season of graduations and at this one, I was joined by my nephew Eric McKinney who was graduating in statistics from USU in the same ceremony. (My niece in law also graduates soon with her masters in school counseling from the University of Phoenix.)
I know this is a terrible picture but it is the only one that I got of Gary, Jena and Mom Hall in the crowd. Yes they are there because I took this picture right after I saw Gary's signal in the crowd.
|This is after we got our diploma. We are seated in the third and fourth rows.|
After the ceremony--Selfie with Gary
|Jena is a bit shorter than the Aggie Bull|
My main professors---Susan Egbert and Sean Camp. We were truly blessed to be taught by these talent people- passionate about their work and about their role as mentors to us as social workers. I will never forget them. And they say, they will never forget us as we were awesome. Like a good set of parents, they made us all feel like their favorites--
We gave our professors unique t-shirts with their "hallmark sayings" on them--
Sean: "I own that"
Susan: "Cross stitch that"
Sean: "Don't get me started" that was always the beginning of some great story or insight
Susan: "Timing, Tact, and Dosage" the critical elements in therapy
And after we ate our Aggies ice cream at the open house, we headed home, directly home, and did not stop at Olive Garden to say hi to Eric and company. By then my meals of mostly toast and crackers was wearing off and also Gary was starting to get sick. Yes, unfortunately, the bug had gotten Gary too. We headed home and went to sleep and actually did that most of the day on Saturday as well. Which is why we missed our second graduation dinner--although this one we postponed. We were going to celebrate with the Utah kids and grandkids on Saturday evening but neither Gary or I were up to that so we postponed it.
I was able to manage to do some housecleaning in preparation for leaving for 12 days and I also did about 3 hours of homework for this upcoming semester--no rest for the wicked they say and no break for summer semester. Today, Jena and I taught our Primary class and we took another long nap before I started updating the blog.
I also traded out Jena's mission items and added my graduation things on this entry table.
It was a small thing--a 12 hour break in a stomach bug--and "walking" was totally a selfish desire on my part. It didn't matter in the great scheme of things. I would still have finished school and become a social worker. It didn't impact my grades or my connections in my cohort or with my professors. But it was a tender mercy nonetheless. My prayer was answered and the fever and the other things left for a time and I was able to celebrate with my family and my cohort from school. It was a small thing but I was so grateful to my Heavenly Father for allowing it to happen.
The second time was actually sweeter--because it was the first time that I shared it personally with other classmates who I had shared the journey with and our professors. As we entered the tunnel into the arena, all professors and administration of Utah State University were lined along both sides clapping as we past by. It was a special moment as I saw our social work professors reach out their hands to "high five" each one of us as we walked by them. We loved them and they loved us and I think they were as proud of us as our families were.
When I graduated in 1979 with my BS in psychology, I didn't know who else I might have known who graduated at the same time. My first masters program only included 8 students, but I was the only one that chose to do the thesis route. They had to do a project which was a shorter process. On top of that I had Jessica two weeks after finishing my course work which made an additional delay. We ended up graduating at different times. This day was shared with about 15 of the 20 of us. It was great to sit with them and to also see them reach their goal of becoming a social worker (almost). I knew a bit of their own journey over the past 3 years and it was an honor to have share it with each one of them.
This is almost everyone except for Nancy who was sick on the day of this picture. Rachel said that our of 16 shots this was the only one no one had their eyes closed--our cuddle picture! Social workers!
And again--I can't thank Gary enough for his support, love, encouragement, and everything else he did so that I could do this again. He is the only person that has attended all three of my college graduations! That alone is a sacrifice. All of my kids have also sacrificed time and energy from me because I was doing homework or internships and they have been my biggest cheerleaders. I couldn't have done this without them either.
And grandkids---all of you have arrived since I was accepted into graduate school--(not caused by me going to graduate school) but you are my best graduate presents ever--Scarlett, Niki, Liam, Zander, James, and Cooper--I don't know if college is part of the great plan in place for you--we all have our own paths to discover, explore and accomplish, but I want you to know that you can achieve those things most important to you if you sacrifice other things that are good for something better, if you work hard and don't try to take the easy route and if you allow those around you to support you and be your cheerleaders! I will always stand as your support and cheerleader in your journey of life. You can do hard things!!!
And that's a wrap--
GRADUATION DAY MAY 5, 2017