On Friday, May 14th, I received my Masters of Public Health degree from Vanderbilt University. I blogged about it on my family blog if you’re interested in reading the details, but I was prompted by this recent milestone to tell my stories about my previous graduations. ‘Tis the season for graduations after all right? Forgive the poor quality of the pictures; they are pictures of pictures and I will do better next time.
HIGH SCHOOL: I graduated high school in 1993 from the North Carolina School of Science & Math in Durham, NC. NCSSM is a residential high school for North Carolina 11th & 12th grade students. Nowadays, many school systems have graduations at younger grade levels, but this was my first graduation ceremony. Oh goodness – here’s a picture of my oh so much younger self with my now deceased grandmother Cora, and my father.
I still remember the procession for the ceremony; we exited the buildings near the old Watts Hospital side of the complex. The first family member I saw when we walked outside was my uncle Al. After the ceremony, I rushed back to my room to begin packing up to head home. I think we were packed and ready to go within an hour. My father doesn’t play!
BACHELORS DEGREES: On Sunday May 11, 1997 I graduated from Emory University (Atlanta, GA) with a Bachelors of Science in Biology and a Bachelor of Arts in Religion. It was Mother’s Day that year and above mentioned Uncle Al wasn’t able to attend as he and his wife welcomed their youngest into the world that same day. My friends and I were all very excited and CNN correspondent Christiane Amanpour was our commencement speaker. I had no idea who she was then, but I’ve been following her career ever since then and feel connected to her in some way. I have a VHS tape of the commencement ceremony that I guess I really should get transferred to DVD huh?
MASTERS OF SCIENCE IN LIBRARY SCIENCE: In August 1999 I graduated from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill with my MLS degree. In college, I decided my junior year to become a librarian and went directly into the UNC program. At that time, the path I envisioned was quite different from what I actually do now, but learning how to organize & critique information is a skill set that is highly transferable! If only most people understood what it is I actually do :-).
I don’t have any graduation photos from my MLS degree b/c I did not have a planned participation in the May ceremony. I was an August graduate and we’d been told that we would walk in the University’s December ceremony. However, methinks some communication paths were crossed for while my fellow August graduates and I were at the May event in the audience merely to support our May graduate classmates, they ended up asking the August group to come on the stage anyway! No gown, no hat, no tassel for me that day. I’m cool with that though, for I really do still remember the experience. Overall, I felt happy that we had some acknowledgment that day.
And now, in 2010, 11 years after my last degree, I have degree #3 (if you don’t count high school)! This time around was so challenging. I do not think I’ll be going to school again but they say “Never Say Never” right?
Now, on a more genealogical note within the next few weeks I’ll be announcing a graduation-related genealogy project I’ve been working on for the NCGenWeb Project. Details to come soon!