When I graduated, I had a party. I had just spent 18 months completing a five semester graphic design program at my local community college to earn my AA. That day, I got up, and Kizzle and I went to The Five Seasons Center to go through the ceremony with 1500ish other graduates.
I had attempted college about 10 years prior. It wasn’t pretty, people. I did one semester at Kellogg Community College and one semester at Glen Oaks Community College, both in Michigan. Then I moved to Iowa and brought my barely 2.0 GPA with me and transferred it to the community college here. I met Hunky a couple months in, in French class. That semester, I got an A. The next semester we started dating, and I took French II. I got a D. I was working full time, going to school full time, and then later, also planning a wedding. I decided to take a semester or two off because I was just exhausted, and no closer to deciding what I wanted to be when I “grew up”. Fast forward about 10 years and two kids later. I had been separated from my husband for almost a year and bought a house alone. Before I even made the first house payment, my paid-off car died so I had to buy a car and take on another payment. Before I even had a chance to make the first car payment, I got laid off. I knew that there was nowhere else in Cedar Rapids I could make the same amount of money as at the job I had just lost. I decided that 1- I was going to have to go back to school and B- I was going to have to finally decide what I wanted to be when I grew up. I knew it was going to be challenging. My GPA had hit a new low: 1.6. But since then, I had also been diagnosed with ADD and my hearing was degrading much more quickly than I had anticipated. But I had also done a lot of work with a psychiatrist and therapist for coping mechanisms for ADD, and had a bright shiny new hearing aid. It went even better than I thought it would. I had earned all As and had brought that 1.6 kicking, screaming, and crab-walking like Regan in The Exorcist all the way up to a 3.492. The only regret that I had was that I missed wearing honors cords by .008.
Now we’re back to that day, maybe even the best day of my life, my graduation day. I had finished something. I had accomplished something. I had found an occupation that I would have gladly done for fun. It was an amazing day of celebration. Kizzle and I had bought brand new Cons for the occasion; hers bright yellow, mine bright green. Our families would be able to pick us out of the 1500ish graduates in the procession with identical gray mortarboards and robes. My mom, step dad, sister and sister’s best friend had come from Michigan for the occasion.
We went through the graduation ceremony and that night, we all went to my favorite bar and all my friends were there; even one of my professors! It was probably the best night of my life. We ended up closing down the bar and then going to breakfast afterwards. I passed out in the back of my sister’s Durango on a tire iron. I was so passed out, I was laying on a tire iron and could not have moved off of it if it was 1000 degrees and had ten penny nails soldered on spiking out of it. It was hawsum.
Which I met with a sputter-y “What?!”
He explained that he wanted to wait until he got his BA for the, I believe he called it, “rigmarole.” Because this wasn’t really a big deal, you see.
You what to the who now?!
After I gave him the tongue-lashing he was begging for, and he got done backpedaling and reiterating what a ginormous deal it was to earn an AA and how proud he was of me for attaining that achievement, we simply left it at that. The AA would go by quietly, and we would throw him a huge bash when he graduated with his BA. Okfine.
Now he’s announced that he didn’t turn in his application for graduation form by the deadline, but hey, it’s no big deal because we’ll just have a party when he gets his Masters!
Oy, vey. I could just smack him. But with my luck, he’d enjoy it.