Yesterday was graduation. For the past two years I have been a full-time student. This was round two, a return to academia to learn some web programming and retool if you will. I discovered that I love coding. I have a lot more to learn but flow happens and creativity has a new outlet.
I did not want to attend the commencement ceremony. I had mixed feelings and a flare of up impostor syndrome, about “earning” a two-year AS using credits from my BS degree to satisfy foundation course requirements. The first degree I received, back in 2000, I celebrated unreservedly. I was connected to my school and fellow students and had worked hard. I felt I had earned the right to walk, and proudly wore the cap and gown. My kids (some of them anyway) attended the ceremony but I don’t think they enjoyed it. Commencement ceremonies can be long events that are just a lot to ask someone to sit through. Graduation ceremonies are what they are.
This time around I did all the coursework online. Convenient. The college is an hours drive one way from where I live. Makes total sense to do online learning when distance is a factor but I wasn’t as connected to the campus or the student community. My kids are all grown up now and don’t live close by. Long gone are the days for mom and dad to stand proudly with me to celebrate my accomplishments real-time.
But when I came across a photograph of a graduating class at Spellman I felt a palpable sense of loss at not having had that experience. Hindsight? Probably so. I was a different person when I was barely 20 years old. So were my parents. After expressing my desire to go away to college, applications in hand, my father told me, “…it is a waste of money to educate a female.” He was certain I was destined to marry and start a family and my husband would support the household, just as he had done and men in our family had done for generations before. That was not the way the world was heading and it was my misfortune at the time to be trapped by what was quickly becoming an outdated premise.
That was a long, long time ago. Things ended well but I will share that story another time.
I enjoyed being a full-time student and excelled in my studies and I accept the path that brought me to the here and now. It is not always easy to find your wings, regardless of the circumstances.