Sunday, May 19, 2019

Graduation Day

Sorry there haven't been any new posts lately. Been dealing with preparations for our son's college graduation, which finally occurred yesterday!

I never attended college. It's been a sore point with me for years. When I was in high school, even though I had one of the highest grade point averages in the Class of '77, not once did anyone ever discuss college with me--no counselor, no teacher, no college recruiter. Not one word. So I graduated high school, 12th in my class (and 2nd highest scoring male student), and neither I nor my parents had the slightest clue about colleges, scholarships, ACTs, SATs, finances, or any of that. So I didn't go. When my dad was hit by a car and needed a year-long recovery, I took on his part-time job as a night janitor. A year after his recovery, my mother was hit by cancer just as I was looking to get my own apartment so I stayed home and helped my dad take care of her. After she passed, I got a part-time bookstore job and stayed on with my dad for another 11 years until he had a massive stroke and ended up in a nursing home for 16 months.

By that time I was managing a bookstore and married. Not long after my dad's death, my wife miscarried. We were told it might not be a good idea to try to have kids but a few years later, when we weren't trying, along came David.

We spent a lot of time worrying about how to finance his education when he was little. At 3, he was diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome. He was on the autism spectrum. Doctors said he might not be able to learn much.

But he was already reading...on a 6th grade level. By Kindergarten he was reading on an 8th grade level. The teacher had to literally buy books for older kids for him and give him a shelf of his own in the classroom.

He was 2nd in his class in high school and gave a marvelous speech at the Honors presentation, after which he received multiple scholarships.

In spite of all our early worrying, David was able to attend a prestigious liberal arts college for four years completely free, with a double major in Mathematics and Education!

Yesterday, he graduated Magna Cum Laude, with NO student debt,  and is now looking to go on to achieve his PhD with another 5 years in Grad School where he has already been accepted as a teaching assistant!

I couldn't do it. For whatever reasons that conspired against me (including me), I was never a college graduate. But my son sure is!

6 comments:

Cuba said...

Congratulations! What a joyous occasion!

Rene' Thompson said...

Your aunt started in her 70's and graduated in her 80's. You are the smartest, most hard-working man I know and if it's something that you want to do, you can do it. I have seen you do the impossible in your life. This is not only possible, but it's also doable.

Billy Hogan said...

Congratulations! Wishing your son the best of success!

Jim Hendrickson said...

Congratulations to David for a tremendous job! and congratulations to you and your wife for raising a tremendous son and a valuable asset to our world.

tom said...

WOW great story.

flash said...

Thank you for sharing your story with us.
Truly an inspiration.