December 19, 2009

Wishful Thinking Achieved!

Sometimes wishful thinking is just that. Wishful. Emphasis on the part where you don't get what you want. Other times, thinking wishfully leads to accomplishment via hard work.

Secretly, ever since Takeshi was the commencement speaker at his graduation, I wondered if I would be the speaker at mine. Wishful thinking, I thought.

Wishful thinking indeed as I was chosen to speak at the Honors Breakfast on Graduation Day. Though initially I felt slightly second-banana to be the Honors Breakfast speaker rather than the main event, I crafted a speech for the occasion that I felt good about. I practiced almost daily for two weeks, and I had the thing memorized by the time I stood in front of the large breakfast-eating crowd this morning.

Hoping to avoid the emotional paralysis of the night before, I allowed the adrenaline to take over behind the podium. Legs a-twitter, knees a-knocking, I delivered the finest speech of my life thus far. I mean, there were no trumpets playing (as I often imagine), but it was far from the shaky-voiced, stumbling spectacle I often put on in front of a crowd.

To tell the truth, I enjoyed my five minutes in the spotlight. I was so glad to have been chosen for this event rather than the commencement because this audience was full of students who hold themselves to the same standards I do. My crowd was intimate and interested, and best of all, I didn't have to wear all the goofy graduation garb while giving my speech. I think my ideas were well-received. Even though I'm sure that such comments are somewhat compulsory, many esteemed faculty congratulated me afterward. The best moment of all was the sincerity with which my grandpa, a long-time public speaker, mimicked taking a crown off his head and placing it on mine to indicate my new post as family speech-giver.

The positive remarks from people who have known me for all of 15 minutes are wonderful, but the appreciation from people who have know me my whole life--those who have watched my varying degrees of success--that kind of congratulation means infinitely more.

Today was a big day, a milestone in my life. To the clinking of the trio of honors medallions around my neck, I made my way across the stage to the Chancellor's handshake to become a graduate. It was very pomp and circumstance, tassel and all.

I'm now an alumnus. I have no job as WC Consultant, no spring class schedule, and no identity as College Student. Dang, I probably shoulda put this one off a little longer!