Monday, May 04, 2009

Three down, two to go: Another college graduation

Middle Son was pitching a couple of weeks ago and Long Suffering Spouse and I and our lawn chairs were in attendance watching.

A group of 20-somethings was standing behind us -- recent graduates or current seniors, at least one of whom had, apparently, been associated with the baseball team at one time.

One of these was holding forth at length on the subject of Middle Son. "I knew him freshman year. What a goof-off he was. If you had told me then that he'd graduate in four years and have a job lined up, I'd have told you that you were out your [deleted] mind."

Some of our other children, when we've related that story, asked why we did not interrupt the murmurs of concurrence that followed this declaration by announcing that we were the parents of the one-time goof-off. Long Suffering Spouse answered diplomatically: "I was trying to hear if they'd say any more," she said.

I was not diplomatic in the least: "Why should we embarrass them?" I asked. "We agreed with them."

Yes, Middle Son was a goof-off his freshman year. I also doubted whether graduation day would ever come. In February 2006 I mentioned, in passing, that the school authorities had decided that, for good cause shown, after his first semester in the dorm, Middle Son should spend the next semester at home. Fortunately, we lived within commuting distance of the school.

But this meant that Middle Son was commuting to school during baseball season -- and during practice before the season. I wrote then that Middle Son attends "a small school -- one gym, no separate indoor practice facilities for the baseball team. Right now it's basketball season -- so that team understandably gets dibs on the gym for practice. They finish about 9:00 p.m. That's when baseball practice starts, usually ending around 1:00 a.m. Maybe this would not be so bad for college students on campus -- college kids are nocturnal creatures -- but it's brutal for any kid who has to live at home. And it's not so great for that kid's parents, I'm here to tell you."

I wanted him to take the bus to and from school as part of his penance -- but the hours were such and the service was such that it simply would not have worked. So he drove to and from.

We made do.

And he learned.

Saturday morning, he walked across the stage and received his degree. I believe he will have completed 150 undergraduate hours in his four years (report card is still pending) which will qualify him to begin the process of sitting for the CPA exam.

I'm pretty proud of that former goof-off today.

Yesterday, Middle Son's team qualified for the conference tournament... and a chance to keep playing baseball in the Division III NCAA tournament. Middle Son was concerned about when he would have to report for the new job that the kid behind us was so concerned about; if the team made the NCAA's what would he tell his bosses? But maybe it will all work out: During finals week, Middle Son learned that his employer had pushed back his start date to September 1. He was pretty rattled -- and that's a tough thing to happen during finals week -- but I tried to reassure him that, in this economy, if that's the worst that happens to him, he's pretty well off. I don't know if he believes me.


Fran said...

Congratulations on the graduation AND the job!

We have a lot to be proud of, don't we?


Sarge Charlie said...

congrats, the big day finally

Shelby said...

big congrats!