Well, that's that. Yesterday by 5:30 PM PDT, the ceremony was over and I had become a graduate. Before the ceremony, the culinary department held a luncheon in our honor, after it, my family had a dinner in mine.
It's a great feeling. For once in my life I finished what I started, something significant and life-shanging. Two years ago I sat in a classroom with a group of strangers, overwhelmed by the list of competencies required in order to complete the program. Yesterday, I sat in an audtiorium with a group of friends, overwhelmed by everything we have accomplished over the last two years. There was laughter, there were tears, a lot of shouting and smiling, and in the end a sense of triumph.
My mother, my sister, my brother-in-law, my niece and two nephews, my uncle (my father's brother) and aunt, and my wife all were in attendance, and I was even able to surprise my mom with my PTK membership. Yesterday and today we spent as a family, celebrating not only my accomplishment, but the love and support that thy have provided me that has carried me through this all (especially my wife).
It's been a good time, and while both my school and my family made me feel like the center of attention, I also felt like part of something bigger than myself.
I'm ready to move on now. I'm hopeful -- no, I'm confident -- in my ability to make a career of this, and I'm ready to go.