I could sum up commencement in 2 words: HOT and AMAZING! But I'm not going to! If you only had 2 seconds to read this entry, then that would be the short version. However, I am not a woman of only two words.
Mom and I arrived at 2:30pm (like our tickets said). Thanks to the Alumni Association we were able to enter in the staff entrance and didn't have to wait in line at all! We found our seats, luckily on the west side of the stadium and sat down. We had taken books and sudoku, but it was much more fun to watch people! Within about an hour and a half of sitting down, we were in the shade and the entertainment portion began. There were very diverse groups, from a gospel choir to a fraternity doing a battle-like dance/something (it was very different, hard to describe!). It was almost surreal to actually be there. I loved watching the Secret Service walk around and check things out. Even in 100+ degree weather they still had their regulation dark suits on! It was obvious they were hot though!!
I personally thought Obama's speech (link to the full text of the speech) was wonderful! It was obvious that he was speaking to a group of students, and that he had tailored his message for the situation. It was very encouraging as he urged students to pursue more than a paycheck. One of my personal favorite moments of the speech was when he highlighted that politicians need to be concerned with doing the right things, even if they are unpopular, rather than the next election. This has been one of my biggest peeves for so long! Perhaps that was what has driven me to stay involved and motivated in the direction of politics. There was a time when I started to get disenchanted with the process (thank you Prof. Simon and National Security, Intelligence, & Terrorism), but I have been reminded since then that I can do something. Wednesday night was another reminder that I can do something, and that something will make a difference. So my challenge to myself is to find ways to make a little difference. Maybe it means an hour spent talking to a family member, or a note of appreciation; maybe it's on a larger scale and involves joining the fight for a cause in which I believe. Whatever it is, I am challenging myself to do a little more every day.
I am looking into my options for Spring semester and beyond. It is nerve-wracking to think about being done with my undergraduate degree in one year from now. At the same time it is super exciting! I feel as if I have the whole world before me! In times like these, I feel truly blessed. I am blessed to be where I am in life and to be born exactly how I was. I am blessed to have a wonderful family and support network. I am blessed to have all the opportunities I do, and to have been able to take advantage of previous opportunities.
One final note, as my mom and I were leaving Wednesday night we noticed people standing on the sidewalk, like they were waiting for something, along Veteran's Way. When we looked to see what they were watching, we saw roughly 10 motorcycles cops lined up. My mom figured this was the motorcade, but I wasn't convinced (yet!). Pretty soon, two Secret Service men come out, get in a car, and the motorcycle cops turn their lights on! It was the motorcade! As fast as I could, I tried to get my camera out, but I wasn't fast enough! We got to watch the entire motorcade leaving! And the best part, people were waving at the Presidential Limo, and Barack waved back!!! I was in a group getting waved at by Barack Obama! Seeing the motorcade was the icing on the cake after a great night!
Pictures will come later, when the computer decides to cooperate with me! :)