I'll be honest. I didn't do the whole thing in an entirely dignified manner. Traffic was bad and work called for some last-minute tasks. I ran across campus in 4-inch stiletto's, humored by the thought of being possibly the first tassel-less graduate at BYU, as the search for the small accessory continued minutes before I was to line up for procession.

And I'll admit, I always thought I'd feel distinguished as I made that walk that demands an heir of unpretentious propriety, an arrived academic. But I really felt like one of many absurd-looking blue penguins, waddling around trying to keep the silly un-balanced, loosely-fitting hats.

The graduation cards and thank you letters for my supporters hadn't been sent, the siblings showed up late, and Grandpa lost his directions to the stadium. But in the end what it all came down to is this:

1. These have been the best four years of my life. I have seen words all my own outside of me on the screen or paper, illuminating that which I thought not possible to articulate fully. I have learned how to come back down to the every day of unvoiced counterpoints, all along finding beauty in the words stripped to their bare meaning.

2. I have an obligation to wield this power of communication for the betterment of others, through truth, trustworthiness and a critical eye as a writer.

3. I am grateful to have been given the rare and fortunate opportunity to be given funding to study at a great school (and abroad) at the cost of hard working and charitable people.

4. I have met great people, been altered forever by their talent and passion for the written word.

© 2011 by Rachel Lowry. All rights Reserved.

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