Thursday, May 17, 2012

Graduation Part II

We graduates sat and waited for 7:00. Time was slow. We were hot. At about 6:30, various people talked to us, including the Dean. Got us all riled up. Super fun. Then a woman announced that if we have a difficult name, to line up with our name cards and tell the person how to pronounce it. Well, Montano isn't that difficult. I figured the worst that could happen was they'd pronounce it "Mon-TA-no" ("a" like in 'cat') rather than "Mon-TAH-no ("a" like spawn), but I really do prefer the MonTAHno so I got in line. When I presented my name card to the reader, she said "Stephanie Montoya." Really? Because... there's no 'y' in my name, nor does it end with an 'a,' so.... I told her "no, MonTAHno" and she said, slowly, "Mon. Ton. Oh." and I said yes. She made a mark on my name to help her remember the pronunciation.

I returned to my seat, and shortly after, we were given instructions on how to proceed. The ceremony began right on time. First the faculty left the room into the arena, then the GED graduates, then the rest of us. When we were told to stand, I started to feel some bouncing in my gut. I was so excited! We walked out of the room, around the corner, into the arena, and tears struck the moment I heard the talented quartet playing Pomp and Circumstance, and it was just as exciting as when I was walking down the aisle at my wedding while my aunt played the Bridal March on the piano. People were cheering as we entered, and I searched the audience for my family.

I was directed to a seat on the end of the row on the right side. We had to stay standing forever while the remaining graduates entered. My feet hurt so bad. I should have worn flats. I couldn't find my family. Finally I spotted my bestie, Kim, way high in the stands in front of me, behind the quartet. I was so glad she was on the same side as I was. Kadin and Kevin were with her, and I could tell Kim was looking for me, so I started waving like crazy. Finally she saw me and waved back and showed Kadin and Kevin where I was. Yay!!

The graduates were seated and the first speaker spoke. Still couldn't find my family. About 30 minutes into it, I checked my phone, and Kim had texted me that my family was with her. I looked up and saw my sweet Anna first, then the rest of them- Matthias, Melanie, David, Mom and Dad. I started waving again until my kids saw me, and they blew me kisses and signed "I love you." I love them! They're so great!

The President spoke, the Dean spoke, and some other people spoke. I enjoyed everyone's words except the student speaker's. Probably mostly because I was jealous that she got to speak and not me! ha. I kept thinking I would have done a better job, but I'm sure that's not the case.

Finally it was time for us to walk. First the GED students walked. Then the rest of us (which was most of us) had to stand and wait our turn. My feet began burning after about four minutes, so I took my shoes off till I had to move. I waved to my family as I walked past them which was just before the stairs to the stage. I climbed them and Kayla behind me whispered "don't fall!" Ha. I handed my card to the reader and as soon as she said "Stephanie," I stopped hearing anything at all. I wanted to make sure I was walking to the right places so I was following where people were pointing. I made sure to point to Teresa who sat with the faculty behind the podium. I actually did hear her call out my name, now that I think about it. I received my CWI folder thing, shook the Dean's hand, got my picture taken, and returned to my seat, where I had to stand again until everyone's name had been called. Off went the shoes.

It was then that I realized I had no idea if the woman said my last name correctly. When we were all seated again, I texted Kim to ask if she said my name right. No, Kim said! I couldn't believe it! After the tutorial and everything! I would be more merciful since she had a lot of names to read if my name wasn't so simple. Oh well.

Later, I watched the video my dad took and she said "Stephanie J Montoyo." Well, it was closer than when she practiced it, anyway. I just don't get the "y" sound...

We stood again to move our tassels to the left side and scream and cheer, and then confetti fell from the ceiling all over us! The music and the cheering and the confetti was so perfect. What a great night!!

After that, the faculty lined up on either side of the aisle, where they stood clapping for us as we walking between them. When I got to Teresa and Darci, I gave them hugs. Standing near them was also an instructor I'd had last semester for Business Computer Applications class, Linda Benson. She was also proud of me and gave me a hug too. We were led back into the room we were first in, and then outside to find our families. Anna was the first to spot me and she took this picture. ha!


Mom and Dad were with Anna, and Melanie and David weren't far behind. They said they hoped Matthias was with Kim! ha, so we walked on, looking for Kimmy. When we spotted them, this is how I found the boys:


Cuties!!

Kimmy took this one for me:


Oh, I love that one. Anna may not love it, hehe, but I do, even of her and her cheesy grin! So cute.

Kadin snapped this one:


Oh, my Kimmy. She was so excited for me! She didn't treat my graduation like a burden and she wouldn't have missed it for much of anything. She kept telling me how proud of me she was and what a good example I am to my kids. She's a wonderful best friend and a cherished blessing in my life.

And some fantastic women and me:


They're so great to have attended.
Why didn't someone tell me my cap was crooked??

I snapped a few more photos, trying to get everyone who was there. Everyone seemed like they were in a big hurry to leave so I was trying to hurry. This one was just Melanie and David till one millisecond before the photo was taken:


Ha! That Kadin! He cracks me up.


Dad and Kevin were trying to sneakily avoid the camera. Not on my watch!


Isn't my mommy pretty?

Well Mom and Dad had to go. Melanie and David said they had a bit of time to kill after all. I was starving. So I said we should all go to Perkin's. It was about 9:15 I think, and dusk. I said everyone should meet me there. I was going to take care of my keys issue and see them soon. While the kids and I walked alone back to my car, I called the insurance company. I have roadside assistance with my car insurance and it covers lockouts. I've had to use it twice already in the last year.

Stay Tuned for Part III, where I will tell the rest of this story, which is crazy I tell you!

1 comment:

Children of Promise said...

I LOVE that you are sharing this wonderful experience with us! I feel like I was there- but, alas, being the bad friend I am, I was not. ;) I want to read part III. Not sure how I feel about you posting the picture of my playing piano, by the way. Love you!! So proud of you!