I wouldn’t have believed it either
Had you told me before yesterday that I would be a different person after graduation I would have laughed at you. Had you said that I would feel different about myself I would have scoffed. I would have thought that you didn’t know me very well. I would have said that I am who I am and a small piece of paper wouldn’t change that. Unfortunately I would have been wrong. Yesterday I graduated from the Dixie State College with my Associates of Applied Science Degree in Operations Management. Today I am a college graduate. I really didn’t think it would change me that much, but it has. I spoke to my niece, Teresa Mahoney, who is going to achieve her Masters Degree in Journalism at Columbia University in New York City. We were talking about how I felt today, and I realized that I could relate to her better because she understood the hard work and angst that I went through to get the degree. I asked her about that and she said yes that she too could tell a difference; I now understood her college experience a little better. It has changed how I look at myself in the mirror. Not arrogantly but with a little more self-respect. There was a time during the long and arduous road that I had contemplated quitting. I persevered and achieved my goal; I was proud of myself this morning, and will be for the rest of my life.
I never understood why, when a company would turn me down for a job because I didn’t have a degree, I would be so angry. I never really understood why they were turning me down. Didn’t they know from my resume the hard work I had put in gaining the experience that I had? I never really thought of the fact that believing a resume is hard. I never really thought that some people fake the experience of their resumes. A degree is something that can be checked up on. You can require transcripts. You could ask to actually see the diploma. It is something that, unlike experience, is a shared concept. If someone doing the hiring sees a degree on the resume, they immediately know how much work that it took to get that degree. The hours of homework and class time that went into achieving that goal. I understand that shared connection now that I have achieved that.
I will be continuing my education, I have signed up for classes this fall. I am taking the summer off to enjoy my accomplishment. Then it will be back to the grind stone. If everything goes as planned I will be graduating in 2017. I know that sounds like a very long time but I have waited for 30+ years to get this far a few more years is not going to stress me out. Good things come to those who wait (according to my mother may she R.I.P.) The degree I am working towards is an integrated studies Bachelors with an Emphasis in Operations Management and an Emphasis in Visual Technologies. My ultimate goal is to help learning institutions and businesses develop better and more effective online learning programs. In addition to my Bachelors degree I am taking classes from Adobe(self learning) on Captivate and self learning Soft Chalk (a content development tool). So part of this summer will be to catch up on my self learning too.
I would like to thank all the people who have supported and loved me during this process… Literally there are too many to mention by name. One however stands out above all others and that is my loving and supportive wife. Annette is the kind of person that stands by you no matter what. She has been there for me during my darkest hours and has shined the light of reason for me when I was lost and confused. She is the person that has cheered me on and told me that I was smart even when I didn’t think so. I am sure there have been times when she wanted to do something but I had homework to do and she would stay home to ensure that I had the support that I needed. Thank you.
Finally a couple of pictures from my special day. I will have more on the way but I had someone else take them, and they haven’t sent them to me yet.