Friday, June 11, 2010

Big things: Graduation!

This past month has been incredibly busy for us!

As I mentioned in my last post, I wrote A LOT for a few days and then I graduated. My mom came up from California to attend my graduation. (I love spending time with her!) J and his parents came for the ceremony, too. I was such a grump that day, because I was so sleep deprived from [nearly-]all-nighters as I finished my finals.

Commencement was [mostly] GREAT!

Our professors and people all wore their robes and hoods. I thought it was SO cool. I wanted one! Actually, I wanted more than one. I thought it sounded like a great challenge to collect all of the different hoods in all of the different colors. Wouldn't that be the most amazing collection?*

Our student speaker was awesome. It was this lady who had returned to school and was finally finishing her degree after years of being a mom and doing other things. It was actually a really good speech, too. I was moved to tears a couple times.

Ambassador Huntsman gave our commencement address. I liked him a lot. His speech also made me teary. I don't remember all of what he said, but there were a couple parts that stood out to me:

The first was, he was talking about how they had taken his adopted daughter back to China to see the place where she had been abandoned as an infant. Huntsman talked about how while he was there he thought of the birth mother and how much she must have loved their daughter, because she left the baby somewhere that she would be found. When he talked about it, his comments took me by surprise. (How could he think that someone who [literally!] abandoned her own baby could love the girl as much as Ambassador Huntsman and his wife love her?) But as I thought about it, I decided it was really neat. [I don't know much about any of this, but] I think a lot of girl babies are aborted (or killed after they're born) in China because of policies there. So actually, for the mother to leave her somewhere that she could be found probably was an act of love. The other thing I liked about it was, I think some adopted kids have to deal with the feeling that their biological parents didn't love them or want them.* I think sometimes that's true and sometimes times it's not. (And often it doesn't actually matter, because the kid has adoptive parents that really, really wanted them.) I thought it was pretty neat that Huntsman's daughter will grow up hearing a story of how much her birth mother must have loved her.

A big portion of Ambassador Huntsman's address was a list of F's that we needed to get in order to have a good life. They were:
1. Find yourself. - Your unique pathway in life. "Life is a journey, not the destination."
2. Find a cause. - And speak out! Take action, and never let it be said that you were an anonymous blogger.
3. Face failure. - Failure only hurts if you were unable to turn it into a learning experience and make you stronger.
4. Find someone to love. - There are people all around us who need it. There are people who need friends / hope.
5. Find meaning. - (1) Always have goals. (2) Create an intellectual framework or personal philosophy to value the world and people around you. (3) Remember experience is most valuable training grounds; learn from experiences.

[If you want to read the whole thing, it looks like Huntsman's address is online here.]

After commencement finished, my college (Humanities) had convocation in the same building. I switched seats, and sat with some friends from one of my classes.

Convocation was about the most boring thing I've ever attended in my life. It was like, every time they needed to introduce someone it just never ended. The introductions were about as long (or longer!) than actual speeches. It went like this: "Mary is graduating with a ___ degree from the ____ department. Her thesis was about collecting seashells. After graduating, Mary plans to collect seashells from X Beach, from Y Beach, and Z Beach, between the hours of 8:17 am and 4:09 pm. Mary also likes to braid her hair, garden--but not with sea shells! Ha, Ha! [they love cheesy jokes]--and she likes to eat ice cream. When Mary was two, Mary used to always sing "The Itsy Bitsy Spider," and her first words were... [... ] ...On a typical day, Mary wakes up early, but she usually presses snooze twice..." It seriously just went on and on. And then they would do it again for someone else. And someone else. And someone else, etc.

Our college's main student speaker was terrible! She spent like 10 minutes having people from different honor societies stand up. There were probably like 40 or 50 on her list. Don't most people know those are fake? There are only a few honor societies that are actually prestigious. Most of them are like, you get a letter that says: "CONGRATULATIONS AND WELCOME TO OUR SPECIAL CLUB PLEASE SEND US $80 TO ACCEPT."*** Doesn't everyone get those letters? So I was pretty embarrassed for our little speaker.

But all of that finally finished, and they called our names, and I got my special diploma cover!

And then, my guests put up with my terrible attitude, and we went out to lunch together, and had a great time. Then I went home and slept.

I'm still waiting to receive my diploma, but my transcript shows that my requirements are all met (and my grades were good for this last semester) so I should be in good shape. They told us it takes a couple months.

I'm so glad to be done****!

* Can you imagine? It would be impossible! Nobody could ever possibly get all of the possible advanced degrees from every university. But it would be such a pretty collection! And if anyone could do it, it would mean they were really something. I decided the only way to do that would be to do something really incredible so that many universities awarded me honorary degrees. But that would still probably only be in one field...
** According to movies and TV shows.
*** It's like when people are all excited that they were invited to be in the Who's Who book. Or when people think they win a poetry contest and their poem is really something because it's going in an anthology that costs only $100. At first it seems cool, but then you realize everyone "wins" and the only real winners are the companies because they're collecting money for nothing.
**** [-ish]


Heather said...

Hooray and congratulations! It is such a relief to be done with that, and although you are about to embark upon real estate classes, I'm sure it's so nice having that BA under your belt. (I am assuming it was a BA... but maybe by assuming I am just making an...ok, I'll stop.)

P.S. I think that we should be friends in real life who do stuff.

The Sarmiento Family said...

I loved your comments about Mary! I was laughing SO hard while I was reading this post...
Although, I'm SURE you're right and because of that I'm glad I didn't have to sit through all of that... :/ But it was fun-ny! It made me miss being around you! I miss you!