Mementos of a milestone

I hope Hot Air readers will pardon me a little personal reflection today. My daughter-in-law Missy graduated cum laude today from Augsburg College, a fine liberal-arts college in the Twin Cities, after a difficult six-year path. When we first met our daughter-in-law, we saw her and our son off to their junior prom. We also met her wonderful family, who have all but adopted the First Mate and me over the years. The two made a cute couple, but we didn’t know then how committed they would become to each other.

I wrote earlier about their travails as young parents-to-be in their senior year in high school, so I won’t go into it again now. They chose life and they chose each other, but they also wanted to complete their education. Over the next six years, the two of them balanced marriage, parenthood, and college, working diligently at all three more than some work on any one of these. They did have some advantages others do not; they had full support from their families, but Missy and David insisted on doing for themselves as much as possible.

Today, we celebrated Missy’s success with about 400 of her classmates at a memorable commencement ceremony. It featured a speech from Dr. Jack Weatherford, who delivered a fascinating, humorous, and inspiring talk, making me wish I’d recorded it. The valedictorian — termed the “representative” in what seemed to be a little bit of PC — gave an overly earnest address about changing the world, using fair-trade coffee purchases as an example of her own virtue in this regard; it’s excusable in the context of the event, the school, and the much more worthy work she did as a volunteer in Central America. Unfortunately, the only good picture I could get at the commencement was this one above, because they kept the gymnasium dark for the entire event.

Fittingly, I think, we skipped the college’s reception afterwards as Missy wanted to go to the open house at the charter school our granddaughter attends. We ended up commandeering the gym area for a family celebration in the middle of it, rather by default, and the school’s director chatted with all of us for a while. The Little Admiral certainly had a good time:

Missy will now spend the summer looking for a job as a math teacher. Nothing has stopped her up to now, and I don’t suspect that it will take long before she starts her career as an educator. The Morrissey and McDonald families are very proud of our newest college graduate.

Next week, it’s my son’s turn. I’ll talk more about him next weekend after the celebrations have finished.