The Graduate

So, I graduated. After 17 years, 5 colleges in 4 states, an incredibly supportive and encouraging wife, countless hours and one change in major, I now hold a Bachelor of Science Degree in Organizational Management. For many of my relatives who hold advanced degrees, it might not seem like that big a deal. But I have a whole new respect for those who have achieved academic success.

Does this mean I am a better person? A smarter person? Better than someone who doesn’t hold a college degree? Not at all. I have met many people who do not have a formal education, yet are very smart, creative, interesting folk.

What it means is that I have achieved a goal I set for myself. I encourage all those who set goals to stay the course, keep going until they achieve their goals. I saw a quote attributed to Arthur Ashe on the side of a bus in NYC – “Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can. Achieve greatness.”

I don’t know about greatness. But I do know about achievement.

Q: Got yours yet, or are you still pursuing your goal? Let me know in the comments section.

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9 thoughts on “The Graduate

  1. Whatever degree you have is a great achievement. I was told by my guidance counselor in high school that my grades weren’t good enough to do good in a large college like the University of Maryland. I proved her wrong and got a degree in Psychology with honors. One of my favorite college professors told me one day, “Getting a college degree means that you have learned how to sit.” He wasn’t putting down the value of a college degree. He was merely stating that if a person has obtained a college degree, he/she can more likely be expected to hold down the hardest job in the world with ease or accomplish almost any future goal.

  2. Chris:

    I agree – setting your sights on a goal, and then achieving that goal, do mean you have indeed “learned how to sit”. Also, one learns how to “sift”.

  3. My first degree was very cookie-cutter: take three EE courses, a math course and a physics course this quarter, co-op next quarter, repeat until finished. Forget anything like history or literature that might give some context to your life. If I had stopped to think about context, I would not have finished, but I did learn to sit and sift. And most of my goals since then have been easy in comparison, except maybe running a 5:29 mile. That will be tough if not impossible.

    Anyway, I am proud of you, Chester, and of your wife who was with you every step of the way.

  4. Thamks, Kim. You and Mom and others served as role models for advancing educational excellence.

    Now I need to find a Master’s Program – TJ is insisting on it.

  5. Cool! More organizational management, or something else? We VT employees can take two free courses a year, so I could have had forty courses by now, but I’ve only taken two–Alternate Energy Systems and Usability Engineering. I liked them both, but it was a lot of work.

  6. Probably an MBA, or Executive IT Management. I’d like it to be History or Music, but that’s not gonna happen. 2 free courses a year? I’d have finished my History degree by now – whaddya been doing, living your life?

  7. I spend most of my time driving kids to soccer or dance. We don’t even walk to church most of the time, and it’s only a mile away. I don’t know what’s wrong with kids these days–remember when we could do any activity we wanted as long as it was free, we could walk to it, and get home before the street lights came on? Anyway, I don’t see my time being freed up for a second master’s degree any time soon.

  8. It gets better once the older ones start driving – then you just have to force them to drive the younger ones around. It sort of works.

    And yeah, I do remember that. We robbed our children of some serious woods and playground time. Then again, MY kids never set the woods on fire, either….

  9. or stole a car, or staged a walkout, I’ll bet. My kids have never gotten suspended for smoking, but one of them got suspended for kicking the principal. She would never set the woods on fire, either. She likes to build fairy houses out of sticks.

    One thing you’ve shown your kids is that an education isn’t something that gets handed to you and consumed. It’s easy to forget that, living in a college town.

    I can’t wait to see what you guys will do next!

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