I DID IT! Commencement was on Saturday, May 28th. I woke up at 7am & started driving to the Bear Creek Road exit to pickup Meridith at 8am so that we can make it to the university commencement at Spartan Stadium. We parked in the 7th street garage & hopped on the shuttle to take us to the stadium. We met up with our classmates & started to line up to walk into the stadium.
Early OT All-Stars waiting to get into the stadium
Team foster youth minus two
Team planning a trip!
With miss Valeen
First row of OTS
After walking into the stadium & getting situated, we started having fun. Geo ended up bring a metal waterbottle filled with vodka that people were taking sips out of throughout the commencement [no, I didn't drink out of it]. When it came time for the speakers to announce our major, we went absolutely nuts. We seriously had the weirdest looks going our way since we screamed & jumped up & down & more! I am pretty sure we were the rowdiest group at commencement & our professors were probably slightly embarrassed by us, haha. When it came time for the Masters students to get hooded, I was the first to get up from our cohort & get hooded by the wonderful Dr. Wynn!
OT Fairy & Anniemayzing = first two hooded!
Annie & Fanny got hooded
Our cohort kept trying to start a wave afterwards & it always failed somewhere, haha. After commencement was over, I waited for Jill to find where I was. While waiting, I saw Oliver & gave him a big ol' hug for graduating, too! GJen was at commencement, but had to bounce right after it was over since her hubby got into a car accident [he's ok btw]. She told me she'll hang with me next week or so since she had to give me the card she brought for me :)
Oliver, one of my humanities buddies!
Jillipino lei'd me ;)
KFaith is so cute :)
After boarding the shuttle, Meridith convinced me to go with her to Peanuts for lunch. We met up with Mark & Jimmy there & Geo & Vanessa came in soon after. They somehow convinced me to drink half a glass of beer with them since it'll be the last time we would be at peanuts. I obliged since it was our last day together & they finally got their wish of me having a beer with them at Peanuts, haha.
When we were done at Peanuts, we headed over to Tower Hall to get ready to line up to walk into our convocation. Dr. MacRae found Mike & I so that she could take a photo of us together to show all the people up in Trinity County. She said they were very interested in what we looked like, haha. At exactly 3pm, we started walking into Tower Hall & our journey together started to slowly come to an end while another journey slowly began.
Cheesin' it for the camera while walking in
Waving to the fam, yay!
Dr. Pendleton gave the welcome & introduced the Dean of the College of Applied Sciences & Arts, Charles Bullock. Then Dr. Schwartz made her speech for the ELM class. It was okay, but I was not entirely interested since she wasn't talking about my class. After Dr. Schwartz finished, it was Gigi's turn to talk as our faculty speaker. Our class loves Gigi & we all know that we were her favorite class so she was the obvious choice for our speaker. Gigi's speech definitely started making me tear up since it finally hit me that this was it, we are going to be done after this. "This class definitely holds a special place in my heart." When Gigi was done, three of our classmates known as The Reachers [Holly, Jonathan & Becky] performed "I Hope You Dance" by Lee Ann Womack. Again, I started crying a little from all the bottled up emotions I have been keeping in.
The Reachers performing for us one last time
When The Reachers finished their performance with a standing ovation, each of the graduating classes had a student speaker. Our class elected Brenna as our speaker & she did a great job. The speech was very "our class" since it was very meaningful, hilarious & fun. She tied the speech up with the lyrics of "I Hope You Dance" & it just summed up our class so well. "We can salsa, or RUMBA...ask your graduate afterwards what that means." After the student speakers, each class played their slideshow. Ours was again the best out of the three cohorts graduating because ours actually represented the spirit of our class really well. Great job slideshow team! Our cohort & the ELM cohort donated an iPad to the department as our class gift as well as $200 for whatever else the department needed. When all that was done, it was time to get up & get hooded for the final time. For our cohort, we had Koketsu announcing our names, Steffen-Sanchez handing us our diploma, Dr. Pendleton giving us our OT pin & the Dean shaking our hand in congratulations.
Prof. George putting on my Masters hood (with my eyes closed)!
Hooded one last time, officially a Masters student!
It was definitely surreal when we all got hooded for the final time. Dr. Cara led us in the OT pledge & it was hilarious since she thought we each had a copy of it. She recited it super fast & we could not remember what she had said to repeat back. It was midway through that she realized that we did not have the program & started stating parts of it slower for us to recite. The OT Pledge below:
In the belief that all human beings are unique
And have a potential to be realized,
I pledge myself to the conscientiousness and
Judicial practice of my profession.
I solemnly declare that I will hold and
Whatever I may learn of the
Lives of my clients.
Seeking to serve and being cognizant
Of the need to
Maintain my competence,
I will strive to continue my professional growth.
To this end, that my work may be successful,
I will strive for greater knowledge,
Skill and understanding
In the discharge of my duties.
It is with dignity and pride that
I prepare to join my colleagues in Occupational
Therapy and pledge myself to uphold the
integrity of our profession.
After the pledge, Dr. Krishnagiri led us to do the turning of the tassels from right to left & then we were officially graduated! The faculty walked out first followed by the graduating class of 2011! We then had a reception outside the hall where I got to finally talk with my family & friends that came to support me on my special day :)
Samantha, my first college friend ever :)
My amazing grandma who I love to death!
Mommy dearest who supported me through everything!
My little sisters, Lonnie & Helen, who missed part of Fanime for me :)
Vinh & his mom :)
I would not have made it through if it weren't for your support!
3 generations of women in my family :)
Chris & Helen made it out, too!
My best OT friend & other half, Meridith!
Gigi! The best faculty advisor & teacher ever :)
Dr. K hiding her food from the photo, haha
The baby of our class, miss Purvi
Dr. Pendleton, the chair of the OT Department
I'm going to miss making fun of Jimmy
Miss Diana, PTE officers rock :)
Pam, my lovely research professor
Elaine, my very Asian buddy!
Dr. Schwartz, 2009 Eleanor Clarke Slagle lecturer
I'M FREAKIN' DONE, WHOOHOO!!!
Vinh's mom wanted me to pose with the statues
Goodbye CCB, I'll miss being in your halls with the OT All-Stars
My family went out for dinner at King Wah after commencement was over. We had yummy Chinese food & I got to show my daddy & grandpa my awesome gown & hood. They were proud of their little girl even if they did not admit it, haha.
Uncle, grandpa, me, grandma & mommy
I wanted to go to Flames for dessert & for their happy hour as well so I invited Conic to join Vinh & I. I ended up having 1.5 Spartan Swirls & got buzzed, haha. Vinh drove us home & then I popped in The Hangover for Vinh to finally watch. He thoroughly enjoyed laughing his butt off before we both went to bed.
Flower leis (left from Jill, right from mom), candy leis & tequila
from Helen, middle cap & money lei from Samantha
Card & black Mokona from Samantha, Hangover DVD from Helen &
diploma & license plate from school
DAY AFTER COMMENCEMENT
I woke up with a headache, which I attributed to the Spartan Swirls & thus had my first hangover. Ironic since I watched the Hangover a few hours prior, right? I took Vinh's car to go home & shower real quick before returning to buy pho for lunch [great cure for hangovers]. After playing with baby Dawson a little, Vinh & I headed to Marie Callendar's to buy a banana cream pie for Meridith's party. Then I drove all the way up Bear Creek Road perfectly...& missed Meridith's house, haha. I made a u-turn & ended up scratching up the front bottom of Vinh's car [sorry!].
I had fun chatting with Devin's relatives at the party, especially his mom & aunt. Vinh had his first smore as well! I also drank my record of 4 drinks during the 2-3 hour span of our stay at the party. I had 4 cranberry vodka drinks thanks to Meridith being my enabler. Guess she finally got her wish of making me drink until my Asian glow came out, lol.
Making sure she doesn't pour too much vodka in my drink
Trying to take the vodka away, lol
4th drink in my hand & with my Asian glow
Vinh definitely drove home for sure since I was in no condition to drive. While he was driving, I closed my eyes & thought the car was flying, so bad! We got back to his house & I passed out on his bed for a good hour. Then he brought me dinner so that I would feel better from the effects of the alcohol. He even had to make up stories so that his relatives didn't find out I was hungover.
At around 9:30pm, we left his house to head to AMC to watch The Hangover 2. Yes, I know, I was hungover watching the Hangover 2. It was freaking hilarious & I thoroughly enjoyed watching it, haha! That my friends, was my graduation weekend in a nutshell :)
Oh, my graduation money totaled $920, heck yea!