Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Pomp and Circumstance

This past weekend was my commencement ceremony. As many of your know, I finished my graduate coursework last summer, turned in my final project a few weeks after Jack was born, and received my official Masters of Education before Christmas. But this particular weekend was all the "pomp and circumstance" associated with earning a degree. And much to my husband's annoyance, I chose to participate in the festivities. :) Hey, a girl's gotta celebrate!
One of the best things about my Masters degree was that it was FREE! What an incredible blessing! Here's how it all happened:

I had started looking at Regent when I was a Sophomore studying Communication. I decided to apply to the Journalism program there and was accepted the end of my Junior year. And then I got engaged to a Coast Guardsman. :)
I was pretty excited when we found out that our first tour was going to be in Hampton Roads, but after some discussion both Jon and I felt it would probably be better for me to put school on hold for now and focus on getting a job. So I did. I spent 4 months searching and interviewing for various positions - 8 of which were at Regent. There were a couple of promising leads, a few hopeful second interviews, and zero congratulatory phone calls. Jon was underway in the Mediterranean for 4 months and I was determined to be working by the time he got home. Finally, someone took pity on me and offerd me a temporary, 20-hour a week position giving tours and assisting with events. I started the week before Jon got home.
Working at the college just made me want to be a student even more, but since I wasn't receiving benefits as a part-time employee I kept pressing forward. Three months later I moved to a full-time job, I started classes the next summer, was offered a new and better job at the same time, and then worked there for 9 months before one of my professors hunted me down and made me "the offer I couldn't refuse." And so here I am, 3 years, 4 jobs, and 1 degree later, wondering if I can make time to take another class or two. :)

When I graduated from my undergraduate institute the small ceremony was held in the gym in December, so this was my chance for a "real" graduation. I think our campus is gorgeous, and I love how we hold our commencement outdoors. Apparently it's never rained for a Regent commencement, how could it when Pat Robertson is your president? So if you live in the area and are planning a wedding, I'd shoot for the first Saturday in May!
That said, the events were long and hot. Jack and I had spent the week before at my parents house in Pennsylvania while Jon was in the Cayman Islands (rough, huh?). The night before my commissioning we picked Jon up at the Philly airport at 9:30pm and drove home to Virginia. We pulled in at 4:15am, crawled right into bed, and Jack was up at 6:50. Argh. So considering the lack of sleep, heat, and routine changes, Jack was a real trooper!

Here's a picture of me with my two greatest accomplishments of 2008! Jack just noticed my tassel.
Annnd he goes in for the kill!
He's pretty proud of himself and his quick maneuvering.
Naturally it goes straight to his mouth.

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