Yesterday was graduation day at the University of North Florida. It was a lot of "hurry up and wait," so it reminded me of having been in the Coast Guard!
But the "hurry up and wait" was made bearable by friends giving good wishes and making happy talk, and by making acquaintances in the hallway where we were waiting, and just having a good time. (Read "Six Degrees of Karen Rhodes," today's entry in my blog Karen About Genealogy to see how connections worked yesterday).
Finally, the time came to line up and filter into the arena floor, where quite comfortable (thank goodness!) folding chairs awaited us. I was in the last row, but that made me visible to my family, and they got lots of pictures. The young man sitting to my right, Ray, had acquired his 5-year-old son from grandma and grandpa, sitting nearby in the audience, and held him on his lap for most of the ceremony. The lad was quite well-behaved, and Ray took him on stage with him.
After being photographed by three photographers as I came off the stage, I was waylaid by a friend who gave me a big hug. We exchanged congratulations. Moving down the aisle back to the seats, I was ambushed by three professors and given big hugs. One professor admonished me that I need more degrees (this is my fourth college degree, and my second Bachelor of Arts). I said I was working on it!
Another professor accosted me before I got back to the row. Then it was time for the recessional, and it was all done.
So my time at UNF passes into memory. It was fun! It was challenging. It was an experience I would not trade for all of anyone's money. I may have received my Phi Beta Kappa key at Florida State University in 1969, but I feel like I earned it at UNF in the last four years.
Stay tuned for the further adventures of a historian-in-training. Next step: Get my application in to the University of South Florida St. Petersburg.