I think it is fair to say I have a lot of experience graduating. This will be my fifth graduation in twenty-six years. Each was a milestone in its own right.
After my high school graduation, I went out to Shari’s in Newberg with a friend and we talked. I think I had hot chocolate. That was the extent of the festivities. I was simply glad to be done with public school.
After my college graduation I went out to icecream with my family. They had already eaten dinner, after arriving too late to include me due to car problems. I probably ate Mac and cheese that night at home. I went back to work at the wood products mill the next day. It took me two years to recover from burnout and to seriously consider that maybe God wanted me to minister in some fashion.
After my MA graduation, I stepped it up a notch and invited some friends and family to a meal at a decent restaurant. I made a point to thank key people, but especially my parents. I went back to work in the floorcovering store the next Monday. I had high hopes to pursue Ph.D. but a poor showing in my GMAT demonstrated that I needed to do much work to prepare to pass the GMAT. I still don’t see what relevance advanced algebra has for a student of New Testament. So I decided to pursue the ministry side of graduate education with an MDiv.
After my MDiv graduation there was a small gathering at my church and people stopped by to wish me well. I appreciated the gesture and continue serving at that church to this day. I went back to work the next monday, still a laborer in floorcovering. My Ph.D. dream was fading and I simply struggled to make ends meet. However when I became a Senior Consultant at a national distribution firm I decided to go ahead and pursue the DMin since it was more doable, kind of a mini-D.
And now my final graduation approaches. Tomorrow is my rehearsal during the afternoon. Then I travel to pick up my niece to bring her back to Portland and attend the graduation banquet. I take her home immediately following the banquet. It should be a lovely evening, primarily because I get to spend time with her. And then Saturday is the graduation ceremony. My family will need to get home right away following the graduation, so I will see them off and then head on home to prepare for my Sunday responsibilities. And then I will return to work as a laborer in floorcovering. I am thankful for my job and I am glad I have the privilege of doing something I enjoy. As I have already stated in previous posts I have no intention of pursuing additional degrees. I am too tired and see no point of adding to my pedigree given my chosen profession as a warehouseman. Yet I will keep seeking to learn and write and think. I will hope and dream. And this time, in some form, I will try my hand at celebrating after a fashion. After all, it really is to each their own celebration. Mine just happens to be a bit understated in comparison to others who have gone before me.