Yesterday my sister graduated from The College of William and Mary. Technically, she graduated last December, a semester early (yes, she is that brilliant) so this ceremony was more of a formality. She wanted to experience Commencement with the people she had grown to know and love over the past 4 years. This date has been circled on my calendar for months. Being the oldest in my generation, I was the first eligible to graduate from college. Even though it took my 5 years, plus a lot of summer sessions, I did in fact walk across the stage in 2007. But my journey through Blacksburg is meant for another post, this one is devoted to my sister, Jeanette.
First, I’ll try to give you a brief sketch of just how motivated my sister is, both in her efforts in education and in life. I graduated high school with a 3.72, she earned a 3.89. I graduated from Virginia Tech (eventually) with a *cough cough* hey look, it’s my diploma! She graduated early, with a 3.4, apparently “above average” by W&M standards. Her first year at William and Mary I bought her a book of the Presidents and put her picture in the back with a question mark for the time of her term because I know that if she wanted to, she could become President. Obviously that was Pre-Obama, but my belief still stands. The point is, whatever she wants to do, she will do it. And will be very successful. She recently was accepted into a Graduate Program at the University of Maryland. My ACC obligations aside (Go Hokies), this will provide even more opportunities for her in her future. Whatever it may hold.
While I might be her harshest critic (being the big brother who knows all/best), I am also her biggest supporter. This past Christmas, I spared no expense for her gift to prove my point. Conveniently claiming to combine resources for Christmas and her Graduation…I’m a sneaky one.
Tangent: My family is notorious for trickery when it comes to gift giving (whose isn’t?). One year my parents hid a pair of Oakley Sunglasses in a big book of 17th Scholars. They gave me a shoebox with the cut-out pages as my final gift. It took 7 college-bound boys (men) 15 minutes to realize what they had done. Along with the gift I bought my sister came a travel case for the items, and any other jewelery she had. I wrapped the case and her real gift separately. When she opened the travel case, I did my best to up-sell it’s value. I could tell that she was really impressed. “Oh….thanks Brother.” All of this made her real gift that much more satisfying to see her open and enjoy. I am my mother’s son. Back to reality
….Included with her gift(s) was a card that simply stated, “No one is more proud of you than I am. NO ONE.” No matter how much I antagonize her, for whatever juvenile reason I’ve selected at the moment I will always be her #1 fan.
So Sunday came. Along with torrential downpours. Somehow we managed to make it to the ceremony before everything started, despite the attempts of Williamsburg’s traffic setup to merge 4 lanes of traffic into 1 and of course the efforts of all the idiot out-of-town drivers. I put forth a pretty epic live-blog/twitter-orgy of commentary on the ceremony, highlighted by Mr. Tom Brokaw. Cheers were yelled. Smiles were smiled. Hugs were given. Hands were shaken (is that right shook/shaken?).
As I was trained in the mythological Big Brother School of Big Brothering: No argument, no matter how petty is worth losing, I am always right ;). No man will ever be good enough for her. And under no circumstances, will I ever underplay the pride I have in her successes.
Well done Jeanette. You’ve made us all so proud.