As you can see from the picture, we were very happy to arrive in our hotel room! We went to dinner at the Olive Garden and then drove around the campus trying to get acclimated to where we needed to be in the morning. Mike and I had planned to get a run in on the BSU campus, but the tire stop put us behind so we decided to forgo it. We went back to the hotel and messed around in the tiny pool and hot tub, then went back to our rooms to get some shut eye.
Indiana is an hour ahead of Wisconsin time (something about them not observing daylight savings time or something) so I was struggling to make sure we were getting up at the right time and getting out the door.
After a night of TERRIBLE sleep on a tiny pull out couch, we were up at 0530 WI time- ouch. We got some breakfast in us and got ready. The flyer I got in the mail about Commencement said I had to report to line up at 0915, so I was there early enough for that - found out too late that I could have reported as late as 0955 and still been on time - not sure why I needed to be there so early but whatever.
Since I had done my entire degree through distance ed and transferred credits for UWW and BTC, I had never officially been to campus as a student nor had I met any of my classmates except through email. I found myself standing in line chatting with a lady who I eventually figured out was one of my fellow RN to BSN nurses, Claudia Scoggins. I don't think there were any other distance ed nurses there to meet which was too bad. It would have been kind of cool to chat and put a name with a face after nearly two years of emailing and discussion board posting together. That really was the only downside of doing the online degree - there is just not the personal touch of meeting real live people in person.
The ceremony was long, and the key note speaker chose an obscure topic (language extinction ). It was pretty cool to see all the rituals like the hooding of doctoral candidates and trying to figure out what the various regalia (sashes, hats, cords, hoods, etc) meant. It was a long ceremony, and I know my kids got a little bored, but I hope they got something out of it or at least a little motivation to get there themselves.
The campus it self was gorgeous, all brick and glass looking. We got a lot of nice pictures afterwards. We took a bunch in front of the "Frog Baby" fountain. My mom says when she went to college there that people would go rub frog baby's head for good luck before a test. Now he was moved outdoors and made into a fountain. You can see frog baby in the background to the right of my son Nick.
We also took some pictures in front of a little fountain at another part of campus. My mom gave me a little photo album with pictures in of my sister and I splashing in this same fountain when we were really little, so it was kind of cool to recreate that.
This picture is of me and my mom. What you can't see is that there is a HUGE pricker bush behind the sign. I am basically standing on the middle of it. OUCH.....
This is my dad and I. He has a picture that looks a lot like this from when he graduated and I was really little, standing next to him in his graduation gown.
My dad cut short a fishing trip to Canada to come to this. He drove two days by himself to get back in time and then drove another 5 1/2 hours from Janesville to Muncie. How cool is that?
I know this was a really long weekend for my family and I appreciate everyone coming along and being so supportive. We drove through my mom's hometown of Elwood IN on the way there and back. I got to see some of the Elwood highlights and share them with my family, which was cool for me. Brought back a lot of good memories for me and made a few new ones too.
Also a big thanks to my sister and her family for looking out for my screwy dogs. I know that was a huge deal and I really do appreciate it.
Got in a quick 5.1 miles on the bike trail last night when Lucas was at Passing League. Felt good to get out there and get moving again. I hadn't had time to get any exercise in since Tuesday, so glad to get my butt going again!