Starting in 2000, I began taking online classes through a web-based school in Connecticut called Post University. Later, I transferred to the University of Phoenix Online and received my general Associates degree after four years of study.
Receiving an Associate degree was not that big of a deal so my family celebrated it by taking me out to dinner. While I had the option of attending a graduation ceremony at the on-ground campus, I did not want to incur the costs of flying to the facility in Arizona, from my home state of Connecticut.
After a six-month break, I began taking classes again – this time pursuing a Bachelor of Science Marketing degree.
After another four years of on-and-off online classes, (I took the summers off to play in my gardens) I earned my Bachelors of Science Degree in Marketing.
Again, I considered traveling to the Phoenix Arizona campus to attend a brick-and-mortar graduation ceremony but it just seemed like a huge cost for not that much reward. I was excited to have graduated, and I was a high honor student.
I was one of those mothers returning to school to maintain my employment with hopes of moving into executive management or self-employment someday. Along the way, I found it inspired my daughter, my husband and other family members and friends.
A Surprise Party for my graduation
Unbeknownst to me, my 18-year-old daughter had arranged with my husband to get me out of the house for an afternoon drive by taking me to a nice lunch two hours away to celebrate my graduation. She had told me she had to work, but she did my hair, and made some suggestions about what I was wearing before shuffling us out the door.
When we arrived back home, I was greeted by my brother and sister, serenading me to the song the “Impossible dream”.
I was given a graduation robe to put on that was really one of my daughter’s hairdressing smocks.
Next, my daughter placed a graduation cap on my head but it wasn’t a typical graduation cap. This was actually my deceased grandfather’s “dress” beret that he wore when he was going out. If you read about the history of the Grocery industry in the CT/MA area, you would have seen a picture of my grandpa wearing that beret!
Anyway Gram doctored it up with stiff black construction paper and an old curtain chord to provide the tassel for my cap.
My family members and close friends cheered as I “walked” my graduation walk into the living room. I was in tears and filled with joy. There, my aunt who had driven down from Boston greeted me and congratulated me on my fine achievements. After reading a speech to us about a woman who had inspired her, she presented me with a “scroll” that represented my diploma and we all cheered. It was official – I moved the tassel!
My “home celebration graduation walk” was one of the happiest and proudest moments of my life and having my daughter throw me a graduation party with a “real” ceremony was the best graduation present ever.