I foresee a few posts about finishing. As I've been thinking about the concept I realized that there are so many facets to it, that trying to do it all in one blog post was giving me a little bit of writer's block. So, here's my inspiration.
I got to thinking about finishing things on Tuesday during our college graduation. I work at a community college in rural southern Mississippi. Many people are here simply because of the graces of the government which gives them the opportunity to seek advanced education and training and make a step towards reaching their goals. Many of them are first generation students. Many of them are parents. Many of them are as old as or older than me. Some of them didn't finish high school. Some of them have parents who didn't finish 8th grade. Some of them are veterans trying desperately to reenter society. Some of them recently lost their jobs and are starting over whether they want to or not.
In today's economy where it's very difficult to get a job, much less get one with little education, these facts matter.
And for the 1000 graduates that we had this year, finishing community college and achieving either an Associate in Arts (academic) or Associate in Applied Science (technical) degree was a major deal. Many mama's proudly exclaimed "that's my baby" as their son or daughter walked across the stage. I was on the side of the stage where the graduates were exiting. All did so with a very proud smile on their face.
Going to graduation as a staff member is an interesting experience. I don't have any real "vested" interest in the graduation because my family, friends, or students aren't graduating (though I was very very proud of my student workers, 6 of whom graduated this semester!), so having to sit through an hour and a half of speechifying, pomp and circumstance (both the music and the actual activities that make up pomp and circumstance), and roll calling can be a challenge. Doing so in a heavy rented gown in a rodeo arena (not well air conditioned and dusty) adds its own new challenges!
And still, I find myself getting that little nervous feeling as we line up to walk in and support the students who we've worked with over the past couple of years. To see them achieve their dreams and walk proudly across the stage and be recognized (and embarrassed when their mama calls out to them!) is a very proud moment and makes all the discomfort worthwhile.
I'll have more thoughts on finishing this week. But I wanted to get the inspiration for this "series" out there today.