Saturday, August 04, 2012

(Update of an earlier post) I love Graduations...and hate them too

In May, 1983, I walked across a stage at the University of Alabama and received a degree & a handshake from the president of the University. In my case, it took 6 years and 3 different schools to get there, but that’s another story for another day.

A few years later, I received a M.A. degree. Then, in 1990, I received a Ph.D., which could well have been viewed as that year’s sign of the imminent return of our Lord.

Since then, I have attended numerous college graduations, and I actually love the ceremony. As a professor I get to don the robes & the hat and be part of the platform party w/ my colleagues. I dig the significance of the ceremony, the motivation of the speakers’ remarks (well, most of them…), and the general pomp & circumstance of it all.

But the coolest part to me is afterward, when I get to shake hands w/ my students who have just walked across the stage & received a degree. I *LOVE* this part of the day! “Mom, this is Dr. Madaris”..."Babe, this is Dr. Madaris, my Finance professor"...(etc.)  Utterly awesome, in the real sense of the word “awesome.”

And yet, in all of my goober-ish enjoyment of graduation, and all of the excitement of the new graduates, there’s a decided bittersweet feel. I really love my job, in large part because I really love college students. (well, most of them…) I like to think that over the course of battling with duration, net present value, market efficiency, supply & demand, futures contracts, gap, CAMEL ratings, time value of money, internal rate of return, monopolistic competition,...and the other goodies one covers in econ & finance classes, at least some of those students become friends. Which means that graduation = saying goodbye to friends who are (mostly) moving away. I do NOT enjoy that part of graduation day. Even with the excitement of the day and of students/friends moving into career type jobs, I’m not very good at saying “goodbye.” I totally agree with C.S. Lewis, who said (paraphrased) “the reason saying goodbye is so hard is because we were never meant to do so.” One of my favorite descriptions of heaven is this: the land of the eternal hello. I can’t wait.

So, to all new WCU grads, know that you are loved, and that you are prayed for, and that you will be missed (well, most of you...*grin*). Now go succeed wildly in whatever path your life takes! And know that as you do so, there's this aging-but-still-hot econ & finance professor in H'burg who will always consider it a deep and humbling and profound honor to have been a small part of your education.

And as we say in Alabama, y'all come back now, ya heah? ;-{D}

Much love,

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
(Ephesians 2:10 ESV)

p.s. - Remember, with your next paycheck, however large or small,...*grin*

p.p.s. - Already looking forward to that cup of coffee next time you're on campus.  *another grin*

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