Sunday, May 07, 2006

College graduation

Today I watched two college friends graduate. I'm feeling a little bit like the mother hen who has just ushered the chicks out of the nest. And I'm so proud of these two young women. Let me tell you a little about them. We'll call them Chick1 and Chick2 (the numbers are the order I met them in).

When I returned to college to complete my math degree, I had tons of math, science, and programming courses, but virtually none of the dreaded general education courses. As a result I took way more gen ed courses than math courses and met a lot of freshmen students who weren't math majors. Most of them were and are totally not memorable, but two became something very like little sisters to me.

My first semester I met Chick1. We were assigned to the same team for a major presentation. Chick1 was terrified of public speaking to the point that she'd pass out. Not good when a large chunk of your grade is dependent on one presentation. So the erstwhile housemate and I practiced with Chick1 until she knew her part of the presentation so well that nothing could shake her. And I kept on giving pep-talks, lots and lots of pep-talks. We aced the presentation and somehow Chick1 became the person I most wanted to see succeed in college. She's funny, smart, energetic, caring, and so much more. She was also having a tough time with her school work. The story of how she dealt with that is hers, but by the end of her second year she was on the dean's list every semester and graduated with membership in two honors societies. At today's graduation, Chick1 told me that she'd gotten accepted to grad school for her masters. I am so proud of her.

I met Chick2 my second semester. We might never have gone past the surface conversations between two people who are in the same class except that I needed to interview someone whose work was unusual in some way for a cultural anthropology class. I have to side track a bit here and tell you that I run screaming from anyone who tries to preach to me or shove their religion down my throat. As a result, I tend to avoid people who appear to be openly religious. (And I am NOT discussing this with anyone here.) In one of our earlier conversations, Chick2 had told me that she wanted to be a missionary. There were a few more conversations about this where I learned that she spent her school breaks doing missionary work. Okay, this pretty well covers unusual work in my book. Chick2 was nice enough to agree to be the subject of the paper. That interview lead to a friendship which I value deeply. Chick2 is one of the most giving people I know. She is also one of the few people I know who lives her religion rather than preaches it. The world needs more good people. I think Chick2 is one of these good people (even if she doesn't entirely approve of my often raunchy humor).

So the chicks left the nest today. Next year as I finish up the last couple of classes for my psych degree will feel very strange without these two young women on campus.


Teresa said...

Congratulations to the newly hatched graduates! And to the mama chick ;-) *grin*

Anonymous said...

Contratulations to the grads, they sound like amazing women and I wish them well. Sound like you were lucky to find each other, just goes to show you quality attracts quality.

MathCogIdiocy said...

anon - I was pretty darn lucky to know these young women. Thank you.

And thank you too, Teresa.

nellsquirrel said...

Yeah Chickies!!! and yeah Mama!!!