Posted by: suek2001 | May 5, 2010

Keep it coming these lines on the road.

It was ten years ago today that I became the first in my family to earn a college degree. I still am amazed.
Mom had stayed with me in my little room at Elliot House( a rooming house that was home for about six years)…I recall getting up early and going over to try on robes in the gym..I felt sort of weird as the gym was the first room  I entered on campus in 1994 when I registered. One of the requirements was to bring a black bible…I grabbed one off the shelf and headed to the gym…and got my picture taken with family as I waited for the procession into Chapel for our Baccalaurette…(Sp?)
I recall certain speeches given and prayers offered…and it felt weird as I knew this would be the last time I would go to Chapel after all these years. I looked down at the bible and say a name written on the inside on the cover..”Dennis Mertz”(my best friend who passed years before)…That made me laugh and cry….He was there….he didn’t miss this day…
I recall coming home and borrowing a rommates PC to post updates to friends far away and then we headed out to some fancy lunch..a place that was good but a bit over the top for me…
After that, Betsy, Mom and I drove to Emmanuel Christian Center “way the heck out in Fridley” (as Dennis described it) where the ceremony was to be held. It wasn’t one of my favorites because it was typical of the mega-A/G churches I tried to avoid but nevertheless it had the biggest facility for the service. I think it would have meant more had it been held at Bloomington Assembly as that was the first A/G church Mom and I set foot in back in the 70’s.
There was one seriously warped moment when Betsy saw we were near a Micheal’s craft store and made us run in for some project she worked on..I tried to tell her I didn’t want to be late to my own graduation but it didn’t seem to faze her..
Nevertheless, the service was good…I did a George Jefferson stride down the aisle…the worship band played some songs including a never ending version of “Follow On”..and then the speeches…Our student speaker was cool and I smiled as she mentioned Dr. Meyer…and I flashbacked to sitting with Dennis all those years before..and then the big commencement speaker was some guy who gave a speech about how we all need to strive for having big churches..that made me laugh as numbers are/were the game in the A/G…
Still , when we did the diploma walk, it was nice that the President recognized me. I recall being terrified of the miles of chords stretched across the stage….
When we met earlier in the week,  they said, “your family will not be allowed to clap or yell, remind them of this”..I swear I did..for as I got my degree, I heard my Mom shout out “THANK YOU JESUS”….I about died…and months later I found out that the yell was so loud it made it onto the official graduation video!
As the service drew to a close, we gathered at the altar and prayed for one the worship singers sang “Faithful, You are faithful, You Are God”…
Mom found me in the crowd and hugged me and cried…Later that day, we went to a place in Wayzata called Sunsets..and had a fancy dinner…I recall my brain hadn’t fully comprehended what the day meant..and in my weirdness I got excited to see a train go by the window…
All these years later, I relish almost every moment of my college years..and that graduation day was a mixture of sadness and joy. There were moments I didn’t think I would graduate and other times, I couldn’t wait to.
Here I am ten years later…and what astrange trip it’s been.


  1. Hey Sue,
    It was fun to read this. Reminded me of my graduation. I distinctly remember that request of basically “no noise” from family members…I DID pass this on, and to my utter horror, Andy yelled something and clapped! I swear Dr. Anderson gave the camera a dirty look for the picture! I was so ticked at Andy but he thought “Who cares! you spent a lot of money here and I’m proud of you!” Alright. Then we went to Red Lobster!

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