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Monday, July 23, 2007

Pomp and Circumstance, the Indiana version

We left Friday morning for Muncie, Indiana to attend my graduation ceremony from Ball State - our family in our car and my parents following us. It was a pretty good trip, with a brief issue south of Chicago where we had to have one of the tires fixed due to an embedded bolt (it took less than an hour to fix, so it was really barely a blip on the radar screen.
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!


Pat said...

congratulations on earning your degree. I would think it would be harder to get a degree when you arn't on campus, with a family and working full time.

The last couple years for you have been awesome and you should be proud.


Steve getting fit said...

Way to go!!!!!! BSN!!!!
Whats next....MSN????....DNSC????

Congrats, I know how hard it is going online for your degree, a lot of people think that since we don't attend class that our program of study is easier. WRONG!!!!!!!

So great job.

J-Wim said...

Next is probably Ironman Wisconsin - a little something for me.
Then I am am thinking about a year long certification course in wound care. Lots of clinical hours and not a lot of qualified preceptors in my area so who knows. Would love to teach at the tech college, so an MSN is not out of the question but it would involve a significant pay cut at this point..... seems kind of dumb but would give me summers off to train for stuff!

GeekGirl said...

Congratulations! I wasn't able to attend my BS graduation because I (stupidly) graduated in December. In South Dakota. It was below zero and snowing like crazy, and I lived alone with my three kids so I stayed home. I was still pretty happy, though. There's nothing quite like getting a college degree. It makes you feel bulletproof.

Regina said...

Congrats!!! How exciting, glad to hear the trip with the fam was fun.

Duane said...


Bigun said...

yeeeeeehawwww! Now you can go and make some really big donuts! Well, first train really hard, do the IM, and then go make the donuts.

Anonymous said...

I'm sure Mom was in heaven!! Dad looks like he's gotten longer pants too, NICE!!!

Congrats Jen! You've always been a smarty pants, so it's not suprising that you've done so well with your degree!! YOU ROCK!!!

Athena said...

Jenny, you should be as proud of yourself as everyone around you is, and with good reason.

Thanks for donating to my alzheimer's fundraising page. I really appreciate your kindness.

Di aka "Mrs Bigun" said...

I am clapping loudly and hooting too!!!!;)

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