May 6, 2013

Graduation Station

In the last ten days, two of my brothers, one of my sisters, and one of my brothers-in-law graduated from college. They're all different ages, but the timing of everybody's lives worked out that everybody finished their degrees this semester.

The most dignified graduation photo I could find of each of them.

I'm proud of each of them and excited for the bright futures they all have ahead of them. They're going out into the world to have real people jobs and everything. Weird.

But let's talk about me.

Watching these people, My People, getting College Degrees and entering the Productive American Professional Middle Class World kind of makes me want to go back to school. Though of course it's hard to know if it'd go any better than it has in the past. Based on any measure of my work ethic, the odds are fairly good that it'd be a waste of time and money. I do, however, dream of someday somehow coming into money and blowing it on school for something fun enough to be worth working my brains out. Like creative writing or costume design or neuroscience.

Until then, I'll keep working my hourly-wage job and marking "some college" when asked about my education. And despite all signs that I'm One of Them at this point, I'll keep thinking I'm better than my working-class neighbors because I read non-fiction books and use polysyllabic words sometimes. Extemporaneousness. Weltanshauungen, Rhinotillexomania. Yeah.


Rachael said...

I've been thinking about this lately too...I managed to graduate, barely, but since then have had looooong periods of unemployment sandwiched between jobs that...well, let's just say aren't what I imagined my career to be. And then I look at my friends, our friends, from high school, who are in med school and GRADUATING from med school, and in PhD programs, and beginning careers that seem so much more glamorous and important than my driving around passing around documents. And I look at my life, stuck in this town that I hate, supporting my husband through a university that the only good thing it brought me is him, and I wonder sometimes...where did I go wrong? Am I really that much less smart than those friends? That much lazier? B tells me all the time I can go back to school, but what would I study? My degree is not what I want to do, even if it was, it's not enough education for that field, and I don't know what it is I would want to study, and I sure as hell don't want to study anything at BYUI ever again.

I don't mean to turn your post into my own pity party. Just trying to say...I hear ya. I wonder every day, when am I going to find that bright, productive future I was promised? You know, the one where a Netflix subscription isn't a giant splurge.

Rachael said...

PS, that picture of Jared just about sums his entire self (as I know him).

Nathan said...

Well, if you want the degree, I heard they are only $130 at And then if you want the learning there's always wikipedia.

But seriously, if you can get the money together, I'd really recommend it. Just make sure that your degree is something interesting but also useful and profitable. Once you're a billionaire, then you can go for the just interesting degrees.

mom said...

I can think of sooooo many things that you would love to do as a career! Your history of school is actually pretty amazing! Like when you were the youngest in your kindergarten class but at the top of your class or when you went to state with your science fair project or got the Sousa award in band. Maybe when you were in college you just hadn't found something that you felt like you really wanted to do. You are a brilliant child (ok you're not a child anymore - you are a brilliant woman!) For example, when I wrote that last sentence I spelled it "your" and then went back and fixed it because I knew it would bother you! You are doing a great job where you are at. If you want to go back to school and need help though, we might be able to help. Love you!