And now, this is happening.
December 23, 2012 § 1 Comment
I’ve waited 9 years to say this.
I am officially a graduate of NC State University.
Did you just yelp out loud? Because I sure as heck did.
There also may have been bouncing and clapping and a hoo-ah. I maayyyyyy also do something similar every time I think it to myself. Lots of superfluous smiling last weekend. And Saturday, y’all, Saturday, that 50-lb child named Stress that always whines for a ride on my shoulders climbed on off and went for a run in the woods. And I let him. It was glorious.
Andrea (Say hi! I love her!) came on down from DC and we were together the whole dang day. As I sat on the floor in less-than-presentable clothes painting my toenails, she brings up a coffee with Kahlua in it. Yes, this is reason #90653213.A798 why I love this girl. It was a giggly morning.
Driving to the ceremony wasn’t surreal. Seeing my parents was only kind of surreal. Putting on my cap and gown in the lobby wasn’t really surreal. Checking in with Xandra, one of our PhD students, seemed like the most normal thing in the world. I stood in line along with all the other Anthropology and Sociology majors in the bright lobby of Athens Drive High School and talked about professors and theory and how-in-the-heck did we not know anyone else in that line? A boy from my Osteology class, who has a voice like Matthew McConaughey (but is much cuter) (and is so handsome I originally thought we were the same age) was three people down. I wasn’t complaining. 🙂
We walked together through that light-filled lobby, I squeezed Xandra’s arm, took a right turn, then a left, and came around a sharp corner in to an auditorium filled with hundreds on their feet and applauding. I think there might have been music. In that moment, all of it hit me.
You have finished.
At that point, the beaming just wouldn’t stop.
We listened to the descriptions of dissertations and theses done by the PhD and Master’s students. It wasn’t without its awkward moments. One of our professors couldn’t seem to keep her hat on to save her life. I had to seriously restrain my giggles, poor thing. But, one of the things I love most about the Department of Anthropology is the kindness. When Anthropology is your profession, you strive to put yourself in someone else’s shoes.
A lot of you have asked what Anthropology even means or is. Essentially, it’s the study of man. But, the way I usually describe it is that we have the responsibility to give someone a voice that can no longer speak for themselves. Whether that’s a native tribe from a thousand years ago through Archaeology or someone who recently died through Forensics, we take clues and strive for answers. Almost as second nature, that translates to always trying to understand someone else’s position.
I love this department.
One of our kindest professors read off our names. He encouraged us to be in touch, let them know what we’re up to, and do them proud. Dr. Tim Wallace beamed at me from across the stage and then read all three of my names perfectly.
As I walked down the ramp on the other side, my face kind of got stuck in this position:
It basically sums up my everything.
The road has been exhausting and this degree has been a long time coming. So many of you have been so generous that I’m only just hitting the tip of the iceberg with the thank-you’s and the real mail and the presents. You’ve helped with laundry, brought me food, bear hugged me, loaned your vehicles, your time, and been generous with grace.
Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Hope to hug you soon.
Con mucho amor,
PS No, I’m not going back to school. There will be no more university para mi.
And I am 100% okay with it.
Who’s down for motorcycle riding?