Monday, May 17, 2010

Jane's graduation

I've finally had a chance to sit down and process my lovely wife's graduation day. She received her bachelors degree in Organizational Leadership from Indiana Tech this past Saturday, May 15 (graduating Summa Cum Laude - a perfect 4.0). We were excited for her to get to go through a commencement exercise because it was her first one. She graduated from high school in three years and they wouldn't let her go through the ceremony; then when she got her associates degree, graduation was the same day we decided to get married (May 14, 1983). So this was her first chance to actually put on the ol' cap and gown.

I was also very proud of her because she has worked very hard to get this degree. She works full-time; went to school full-time; plus she switched jobs in the midst of getting her degree, so she had to learn a new job in the process; plus she teaches a Sunday School class; and plays the piano every Sunday; and helps with most church lunches and suppers and way too much other stuff; plus serves as the Christian Ed. director for the church; plus she has to listen to me way too much. So, you know, she is one amazing woman.

As far as the events of graduation day... It was held at the Allen County Memorial Coliseum (in the main arena) at 11 am. We arrived about 9:30, and after buying an Indiana Tech t-shirt, she got checked in. I took the shirt to the car and read my book for awhile. Then I got a seat for myself and Drew Carrie in section 208, just a few rows up from the floor. They were actually pretty good seats. The ceremony itself went rather quickly for the approximately 550 graduates. Lou Holtz was the commencement speaker, and he was really good. He only talked 15 minutes, and was full of enthusiasm. They fired through all the names and gave diplomas and were were done about 12:45. It was also the first graduation I had been to where they encouraged people to holler and yell. Usually they ask people to be quiet. It was also nice being at the Coliseum, because they had the concession stands open, the seats were nice, and there was plenty of room (although they were also hosting the gun and knife show and a homeschool thing at the same time). Anyway, after the ceremony was over, Drew Carrie and I waded through the crowd and met Lady Jane under the main escalator. Then we had to make up a little lie.

Jane wanted to go out to eat after graduation, but she was unaware that we had organized a surprise graduation party for her at the pavilion at church. So we told her Drew Carrie were going to make us lunch on the grill and then Isaac was going to come home for supper and we could all go out to eat then. So we drove home - arriving about 1:45 (15 minutes after the party started) - and I actually got my wife a little teary-eyed when we pulled into the church parking lot and she realized we were having a party. There were maybe 30-35 people there when we got there, and some more came later. She was very surprised, and I was very happy. Joan did a great job with planning and taking care of the food and decorating. Then, just when she thought everything was over, her brother Mark and his daughter pulled in! Nephew Joe and his girlfriend were actually supposed to be with them too, but apparently his plane was delayed in Memphis or somewhere. All in all it was a very nice time though. Mark and Laura stayed until this morning, and Isaac did come home during the night Saturday and spent part of Sunday with us.

Here are some pics of the day (click on a pic to enlarge it)...

Standing in line waiting to get her diploma. She was the third from the last one to enter.

Getting her diploma on stage.

Football coach/announcer Lou Holtz giving the speech.

The view from my seat if you looked down: my coffee, book, and feet.

Me and my lovely graduate!

At the grad party. Kelly and her friend, Jane, Carrie, Drew, and Lady.

Jane and Joan.