On Not Walking….

I love higher ed. I have a ridiculous adoration for the entire industry that taught me most of what I know. Higher ed changed my adult life in every single way.

I’m not walking at commencement tomorrow.

I obviously have some feels about that, or I would not have returned to this space that I unload feels. I’m not walking tomorrow, because “ain’t nobody got time.” (A phrase I use often.) I’ll miss the pomp and circumstance because negotiating childcare for the event felt ridiculously overwhelming. I’m not walking because it cost $90 for regalia. (Although I spent that on dinner tonight, so that’s kind of bullshit.) I’m not walking because bringing a family with 10,546 dietary restrictions to a restaurant sounds terrible (vegan, vegetarian, gluten free, I don’t like veggies, it’s too greasy, can we share every plate kind of nonsense, and can we be seated far from the door AND kitchen kind of nonsense).

I’m not walking tomorrow because everyone else has actual real life things to do. And that’s it, right? Higher ed ceremony isn’t real, and it certainly isn’t the work. My people have tiny humans, concerns, feels, realities, illness, jobs, and the yard to mow that all rate higher than indulging in the absolute absurdity that it is commencement. An absurdity I love.

I’ve also done this before. It was really cool. It was even cooler when I gave the commencement address. I really do love it all.

I wanted to walk for my best girl, but she actually already gets it. She told me today that’s she’s going to do Poli Sci for her undergrad, than a fifth year MPA, and then law school because she will need law school to run for President. (Hello, UConn. I have a girl for you.)

The entire village rallied to complete my BA, but this degree was completed in the lunch hours, the after work hours, and during the Saturday sleepovers. I worked so hard to make sure this degree didn’t affect my family. And I guess I achieved that, because finishing is barely a change in the lives for all of my favorites.

So to all the students I ever told you have to walk at commencement here are the new rules… You have to walk if that’s what your family needs. You have to walk if someone needs to see a visual representation of your work. You have to walk if you have never worn regalia. (I’ll buy your cap and gown, seriously, hit me up via Venmo or PayPal.) You have to walk if it’s your BA/BS. You have to walk if you are the first in your family. You have to walk. I’m not letting you off the hook. You have to walk.

Like many things… it just wasn’t my turn this spring. It wasn’t my turn anywhere, and I guess I’m recognizing that in this extremely self indulgent space.

They will mail my expensive and hard earned paper to me. I think I’ll frame this one.

Congratulations to all the graduates, throw your cap for me.

I get do this now, and right now that has to be enough.

FDH, MPA

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