This reporter's a big kid now (and she has the paper to prove it)
We interrupt this regularly scheduled sports column for something completely different.
Itís not like there is a lack of sports going on that I could talk about. For example, Rafael Nadal just won his seventh French Open and the L.A. Kings just won their first franchise Stanley Cup. The Euro 2012 soccer tournament kicked off last week, and since soccer ranks low on my sports-watching totem pole, I have defaulted to cheering for the birthplace of my ancestors. They also happen to be the tournament hosts. (Letís go Ukraine!)
Instead, I will say this: I am officially a journalist!
Last weekend, I returned to the University of Regina and received my Bachelor of Arts in Journalism. It tied a lovely bow on what has been a crazy couple of months.
It was my first university convocation, so I didnít know what to expect going in. My best friend convocated the day before me, but all she told me was that it was long. That was an understatement.
We kicked the afternoon off with a whole lot of standing around in a boiling hot room wearing heavy, black robes that provided no ventilation whatsoever. One saving grace was that this time around I wasnít wearing a huge wedding gown under it.
Long story short, I went to a Catholic high school where all the female grads were required to wear white dresses. The only white dresses in town were wedding gowns. You donít mess with a 100-year tradition, apparently.
We stood around for nearly an hour and it was pretty easy to spot the journalists in the crowd.
While all the other students were standing neatly in lines, we were the loud, laughing group standing in a circle smack dab in the middle of the room. Sometimes weíre worse than teenagers, but I wouldnít trade those people for anything.
Next, we were herded up four flights of narrow stairs to the stage and by this time, I was dying to sit down. I made the mistake of wearing four-inch heels. Iíve said it before: Iím unnaturally short, so heels are a necessary evil.
After another half-hour, the chatter of the crowd dimmed and a band of First Nations drummers played a goosebump-inducing warrior song as we stood and the curtain rose to reveal the University of Reginaís Class of 2012.
Between the drums, the bright lights and the large crows, the first thing I thought when the curtain went up was ďOh my, God. It feels like Iím in the Hunger Games.Ē
Strange, I know, but it felt like a cross between the scene where the District 12 tributes are announced and the scene where Katniss and Peeta are being interviewed for a television show. It made me nervous.
I canít say I paid a whole lot of attention to the speeches. I went back and forth between nodding off and being distracted by the hilarious outfits the schoolís chancellors and deans were wearing. They looked like they had just stepped out of a Shakespearian comedy.
I got excited when they started handing out diplomasÖ until I realized I was in the fifth row out of eight. So, I passed the time watching the other students go by, picking out ones I recognized from my classes.
Highlights include the girl who messed up and returned to her seat without shaking the presidentís hand and the guy who looked like Drew Doughty, a defenseman with the L.A. Kings.
They finally called my name, stumbling over it even though it was written out phonetically on the card. I got butterflies. The first thing I, naturally, thought was ďdonít trip.Ē
The second was ďif you can stay on your feet, donít walk like you have a stick up your rear.Ē
I am happy to report I accomplished both. I shook all the right hands and I didnít have to bow afterwards (another high school tradition). Before I knew it, the ceremony was over.
It feels weird being completely done school. After putting in 15 years, itís going to be strange not starting classes in the fall, not having to write another essay or complete another group project. Everyone keeps telling me I will miss it and eventually go back to get my masters or another degree. I tell them, ďsure I will, if you want to help pay for the mountain of student debt Iím already living under.Ē
In all seriousness, itís a great accomplishment that Iím very proud of and Iím really glad I didnít listen to those who told me to go be a teacher or pharmacist because journalism was a thankless industry.
I couldnít disagree more because Iím having the time of my life.