Tag Archives: graduation

Oh My Pomp and Circumstance!

It’s official! I’ve marked yet another milestone in my life, and I was extremely lucky to be able to do so in the presence of my loved ones! Of course, there were those who were notably absent due to distance, but they were in my heart.

The entire night was very surreal – first, I must thank the powers that be for providing GOOD weather!! Yesterday was blissfully in the high 80s and the sun was mostly inconspicuous. During the day, we all went to the Target Portrait Studio for some professional photos – they turned out great! Stay tuned for them in a couple of weeks. Then, we headed to campus, where I checked-in and then posed with my dearests. My wonderful boyfriend was our photographer, and the mementos came out beautifully!  At around seven, I joined a couple of my friends in the sea of maroon and gold, and we made our way through the campus and to our seats. About forty minutes later, I got on the stage to shake the dean’s hand and receive my the holder that will ultimately house my diploma ! Sadly, even though we each handed the announcer a name card with phonetic spelling of our names, the lady with the thick accent massacred my name. Nonetheless, I graduated!!

I don’t think it fully hit me what it meant until I took a look around and realized that the West campus wouldn’t be my home base anymore. No matter what, even though I plan to continue on with my education at the main campus, it’ll never be the same. It was bittersweet; these past four years have molded me in so many subtle ways. I met some great people, spent an amazing year at U of A, had a news story published on the front page of the East Valley Tribune, took a politics course that really awakened me, discovered a deep love for feminism and Women’s Studies, had some debates with people who were my polar opposites, found my strengths in psychology, kicked butt at Advanced Statistics, suffered painfully through chemistry and biology courses that swelled with over 200 people, dreaded each exam for my online geology course, and even managed to learned a little bit about world religions.

I am honored to graduate summa cum laude, and I’m even more honored at how proud my family is of me! I really couldn’t have done it without them. I couldn’t have done it without my parents. They really are extraordinary! They came to America to fulfill the embodiment of the American dream, and in some ways I’ve helped them do that with this milestone. When I’m surrounded by other college students with fascinating stories of how they ended up where they are despite seeing war and poverty, my own story seems very privileged. I owe it to my parents for making the impossible decisions that they did in order to get me where I am today! A college graduate…I say, I do like the ring of that. 🙂


A couple weekends ago, my boyfriend went up north to the Prescott area to visit his mom and step-dad. I was intending to go, but at the end was scheduled to work the entire weekend. While he was up there, he kept hinting at something that they were cooking up for me as a graduation present…now, I must tell you: I’m notoriously good at guessing gifts. I don’t mean to be, and in fact I consider it to be somewhat of a curse because I love to be surprised (with gifts, anyway)! But I could never have guessed this one!

Well, so while at work on Sunday, I kept wondering what they were going to give me. All my hints were that a) I’d love it. b) I’d absolutely it. and c) Dave’s mom did some sort of intricate packing job. As we both came home (he from his trip and I from work), I was giddy to open the present! He immediately went for my camera – they told him to take pictures as opened…and I soon realized why! It had to have been one of the most difficult gifts to open, ever. But SO well worth it!!!

Among about 15 of these adorable little graduation ducks, there lay an incredible gift. An historic piece of machinery that I had marveled over more than once at their home…in this sea of cute ducks, there was the OM-1. The OM-1 is a photographer’s holy grail, and as an aspiring hobbyist photographer, it’s certainly an incredible camera to own! It was released in the early 70s, and is considered one of the best SLRs in history. Aaaaand, might I add, the one I got is pretty much in mint condition! They gave me a huge lens to go with it, as well as a flash & other neato accessories! I cannot wait to use it!! Once again, thank you both SO much for the gift! I will cherish it!

(Disclaimer: I’ve once again received an immunity deal from the Evil Eye on any excitement on the received gift mentioned herein).