And here we are after her ceremony, just after we took our “bent twig” photo.
What is a bent twig?
“Any current Mills student related to a Mills alumna. The term comes from the quote by Alexander Pope: “’Tis education forms the common mind; just
as the twig is bent the tree’s inclined.’ “
I’m not usually a big fan of commencements. I would have skipped my own if I didn’t get the traditional “You will attend because I’ve waited for YEARS for this!” lecture. I now see what my mother meant and yes, she is *almost* always right.
Part of my reluctance in attending these things are the speeches that I never seemed to have a connection to/with. I remember suffering through high school speeches while sitting in blinding afternoon sun (yawn) and don’t even remember who spoke at my own college commencement but I DO remember being very happy I was done!
Brittany’s ceremony featured Holly Gordon, the woman who helped produce the award winning documentary “Girl Rising“. Her message, which you can see in a podcast here, boils down to this “Just do SOMETHING”. She told stories of her own travels, how she got her start and even though her journey has not been what you might think of as a “straight” line it was what was necessary to get to where she is today.
That’s what she wanted to tell everyone that day. Take chances, take a trip, take on something that may not seem to be in your path because your path may change. One thing is almost certain and that is life isn’t linear.
If you click on the link it should bring up a page with 7 webcasts – Graduate Student Speaker Steven Drouin was GOOD. And at the very bottom is an 18 second clip showing the students “flinging” their tubes full of pieces of tissue paper in their class color of red, with some gold and white thrown in for good measure : ) I have a handfull of tissue pieces in a bag in my drawer that in 30 years my grandkids will pull out and ask about…I hope.
I wore my dad’s mother’s high school graduation pin on my dress. I can’t help but think she would have been as proud as I am of my daughter and this was my way of taking my grandmother with me. The dress I wore she would have LOVED because of the purple but the other reason I wore it is because purple was my class color when I graduated. And because of the purple and the amount of walking I did I decided to wear my new purple velvet shoes:
Of course I took these pictures somewhat after the fact and someone had to check things out:
While perusing the Mills facebook page I came across this picture of my daughter, who was sitting about 30 feet away from me. Because I’m an alumna I was able to march to the ceremony with the rest of the alumae who attended. They gave us caps and gowns and had us line up in order of our class year (one woman said “We’re getting closer to the front!”), and handed me a banner with my year on it that I made back when I was pregnant with Brittany! When the other women found out I actually had my daughter graduating they made sure, when she was in line to get her diploma, to cheer! Did I cry? Yep.
The site they use for graduation is where the Costume shop I lived in many years ago used to reside. Now they have an area they plant with an “M” and surround it by the graduating class color.
This journey, for both my daughter and myself, has not been linear. But it has brought us here today which is exactly where we both should be : )