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Monday, June 9, 2008

Graduation Day

There were times that working full time, taking care of a family and going to college were hellish and yesterday's weather sure made it feel like hell. But let me tell ya, getting that diploma yesterday made it all worthwhile. Today I blog before you as one of the proud 444,000 graduates in the history of THE Ohio State University.

First, I'd like to thank Ohio State for a brilliantly put together commencement. The thing came together with Swiss precision. Can't be easy organizing nearly 7,900 diplomas. To whoever came up with the tradition of graduates wearing black gowns, might I suggest that Spring grads start wearing gray ones instead. Dear lord...nothing like wearing a black gown in 93 degree heat. I lost a few pounds while I sat there roasting.

Our commencement speaker was NBC news anchor Brian Williams who was fantastic. He made several jokes about Michigan (which pleased the crowd) and asked the class of 2008 to save the country. Williams was very candid about the state of the nation. Williams expressed hope that this graduating class might be the one that finds an alternative energy source so America can stop buying oil from people its at war with. Let me tell ya, I enjoyed that remark more than any Michigan joke. Just wish Williams would make those kinda comments during his newscasts. Despite that, I've been a Williams fan since his reporting on Hurricane Katrina.

Being a lot older than the other students, I kinda felt outta place. OSU prez Gordon Gee's remarks were geared toward young people, and I certainly understand why. I'm sure I was the only one graduating who had a 20 year college odyssey.

I had no plans to actually participate in commencement until my last quarter when I decided I might as well do it. Brutal heat and all it was a nice experience. God knows it took me long enough to do it. As KBone told me yesterday, I've going to school long enough that I should be a doctor by now. For the record, I was not in school for 20 years....Went two years, took ten off....went 5 years part time....took two off....finished in the last year. So really, it was only 8 years....spread out over 20 years.

Interesting the 2000 census, only 4 percent of residents in the county I reside have college degrees. Only 1 percent have masters degrees (I start my masters program in September). I figure with those kinda numbers I can be ruling this dump in no time. Like I told my lovely and supportive wife yesterday, my degree doesn't make me better or smarter than those who don't have a degree, it just means when she has to write my obituary she can include that I was a graduate of Ohio State. It took a lot of time and a lot of money but its an accomplishment that no one can take away from me.

So what do I take away from OSU other than my degree? Well obviously a diploma....a three point something GPA and a mountain of student loan debt. I've learned that while it would have been nice when I was 18 years old to have the focus and drive I have at 38, I wouldn't change a takes you along many paths. There are many I wish I hadn't gone down but I like where I'm at now. I never saw myself as a 38 year old college graduate getting ready to start an MBA program but it beats being toothless and sitting in my own waste. Imagine having that in your obituary...

Tomorrow its back to trying to be witty and somewhat the end of the week I'll announce what I'll be up to once I close down this blog....I'm off to go on a snow cone run.


O.M.O.M. said...

Congrats on the Graduation! I thought of you yesterday sweating in your robes while I was floating in a pool. I hoisted a gatorade in your honor.

E. S. Furniss said...

You're a kind man. Probably the smartest grad in the class was a girl who wore a swimsuit under her gown...nice way to beat the heat. I saw some dudes sporting suits and thought, man, what idiots. Maybe its my advanced years but I just didn't think that was necessary given the weather. I guess the younger grads wanted to look good in their photos but I was drenched in my tee and cargo shorts. I can't imagine how they looked in their suits.....I guess if you died of heat stroke during commencement you'd already be dressed for the funeral.