knitxcore.: Graduation!!!!!!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Graduation!!!!!!

grad
Today has been such a long and exciting day, but as it winds down and I have found some time to reflect on finally graduating from junior college. After high school, I didn't have a lot of options, circumstance had put me in a place where I was thrust into the world without my big boy pants on. I took a handful of retail jobs; one even housed me in NYC for a little while. It wasn't awful. I actually don't have any complaints about pre-college living. I did what I needed to do, and I had fun while doing it.

By the time I was presented with an opportunity to go to college, I was positive that I had already become the person I was going to be. Sure, I would learn how to do a few equations, maybe even how to set up and MLA-style paper; but, I definitely wasn't going to learn anything about myself. I would go to class and go home; working full-time folding tee shirts at the mall. Not exciting, but I had already become accustomed to trudging through life pantless.

first day of school


On my first day at Atlantic-Cape, I hid behind a wall in-between classes reading "Mrs. Dalloway" by Virginia Woolf; segregated from the student body while attempting to reconcile my most potent memories. Overlaying the past with the present, these moments of quiet introspection that I shared with Mrs. Dalloway still may be one of the most important of my entire college experience thus far.

I began to weigh the benefits of communication against the instinctual yearning for privacy. Eventually, I started peeking out from behind my fortress (a 3 foot brick wall painted white) and connecting with fellow classmates. Regardless of age or social status (among other things) we had something in common; we were all connected. Walking towards our uncertain futures, we would look up through the trees in the quad to peek at the sun. In time, we would drag some old blankets out to the center and read to each other. We would listen to the Shins. We would take blurry Polaroids to remember how happy and free we were.We still are are both of those things, maybe even more.
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I joke around a lot, saying " I hate people" or "Humans are awful"; but if I have learned anything at ACCC it's that people are just plain amazing. ALL OF THEM. Even the guy on the bus who's butt crack was always hanging out has a story to tell. Every single person you see every single day for the rest of your life has a unique wisdom imparted from an incredible personal journey.

-In one of my first English classes, there was a 65 year old man, who decided that after years of being a line cook that he would like to earn a degree and become something more. AMAZING!

-A woman in pottery class used to be a playboy bunny!  She was a fantastic woman with a kind heart who genuinely lit up the room by just being there. AMAZING!

(I'm crying a little. Give me a second)

-Today, I graduated with a boy who has a learning disability, but never missed a math class; even if it meant walking over 3 miles in the rain). AMAZING!

-A transgendered student (and friend) showed complete compassion and interest in everyone's personal struggles, while still dealing with her own. AMAZING!

-One of my very favorite professors is fighting a debilitating auto-immune disease, but still shows up to class everyday looking like she stepped out of a J. Crew catalog. AMAZING!

-Let's not forget about GMG or Two Shoes, who have made such a big impact that they have had entire posts dedicated to them! BOTH AMAZING!

I've never told any of these people that I was blown away by who they are or of the difference that they have made in who I am. There are so many more people that I've come in contact with during these first two years of college who know how important they are to me and my success.

THANK YOU PEOPLE OF ATLANTIC CAPE! You have changed me.

I'm really going to miss that place.



Tomorrow, I get to pull on my big boy pants for the first time; a life affirming action, no doubt. Everyday as  I get dressed, I'll think back to this moment and, one leg at a time, I will conquer the world.

25 comments:

Jada said...

Congratulations, Robbie! :) It's amazing how earning a degree can really change a person, and you were able to meet so many different people who were just as passionate as you to learn! Congrats, and wish you all the luck in the future!

eliza said...

congratulations, robbie! you earned those big-boy pants, for sure!

the last day of school was always so nostalgic for me... now your last day of school is getting me nostalgic. ^_^

bigger things await you, i'm sure. have fun!

Eartha Kitsch said...

Such an amazing post. Congratulations! I have no doubt that you're going to do huge things in this world. Your understanding at such a young age of why people are important and interesting and worthy gives you such a great head-start. Go get 'em, tiger.

Marquesa Jen said...

Congratulations! Connecting to people and learning their stories is tremendously life changing. I wasn't Ms. Team Spirit or anything, but there were a lot of cool people at both my schools.

Any who, this is an awesome weekend because not only are you (who are awesome) graduating, my Mom is graduating on Sunday! 27 years on and off of classes while working full time and raising kids and she's doing it! She'd tell you that when we go to learn somewhere, anywhere, we change whether we want to or not.

Congrats again!

Moe said...

This is an awesome post! And congrats on graduating!

Thanks for giving an insight into you unique college experience. Honesty & insight is why I love popping by new blogs. I am so glad I follow yours!

Sian Lile said...

and who else is amazing? you! that's who!! hurray. am glad you enjoyed it. i loved all my time in college (4 different colleges!) and it wasn't until it was all over i realised how much i had learned, and my bestest friends are ones i made in college too.x congratulations robbie.x

Lisa Gutierrez said...

Congratulations, Robbie!!

Rich said...

A lovely post, Robert. I felt a bit like Mrs. Dalloway myself yesterday: like seeing one's whole life in a single moment on that day in May.

Lilea said...

Congratulations! You are AMAZING!

Rae - Say It Ain't So said...

congratulations! I am so so happy and proud of you! I am really touched by you saying "Every single person you see every single day for the rest of your life has a unique wisdom imparted from an incredible personal journey.". I feel like it took me a realy long time to learn that, but it is so true! you have amazing things ahead of you!
and seriously, how cute are you in your cap and gown?

Rae - Say It Ain't So said...

oh, and I wanted to share that at my graduation, there was an 87 year old man who had came back to school and gotten a degree in poetry just because he had a life time love of learning. it was so inspiring to me, to think of someone who is there doing that hard work just because they WANT to! I totally cried when he got his degree.

LittleCanoe said...

Congrats, Robbie! You did it! Welcome to adulthood ;) You're going to love it!

look see said...

Oh wow! Congrats Robbie! That mortarboard suits you dude! :)

Marlena said...

Congratulations! And I love this post. I too also joke around about how I'm a misanthrope, but I still find myself smiling to strangers on the street, wondering what their story is.

Lisa said...

Yay! Congratulations! I hope you continue to meet interesting people & that this isn't the end of your learning ^_^ (learning rocks!)

*karen said...

Yay! Don't forget--*you* are AMAZING too.

Paula McGrath said...

congratulations!! <3

gwenstella said...

Congratulations! That's a huge milestone in life! I can't wait for this day to come for me...

All the best for the future! ;)

Crochet Goddess said...

Congratulations!!!

Colby Kern said...

Congratulations! You look way better in a graduation gown than I do...

Kitsch and Curious said...

Hi there, thought I'd come and say hello and thank you for the comment on my blog.
Your blog is lovely, and this is a charming and wise post. Congratulations on your graduation! You have such a great outlook on life, I'm sure you're going on to even greater things!

WillyG said...

Woot! Congratulations, Robbie!

shakti said...

Congrats big boy!

Grateful4Crochet said...

I somehow missed this post of you getting your bigboy pants!!!!!!!!
This was such a beautiful post, and also nearly had me in tears as well.
Congratulations on your graduation, and your ongoing journey!!
I always love reading your posts, and you often make me stop and think about stuff.

theshylion.com said...

You really are a wonderful fella, y'know? Congrats on the graduation! x