TinaCortina's Blog

Musings of a Tgirl

Nov 2010~Hat’s Off!


It’s been a busy week and for a moment I had to decide on what topic to blog.  But in the end no contest.

My youngest daughter graduated yesterday with a Batchelor of Science Adult Nursing Degree 2nd class honours, division 1 ~ from Bournemouth University.  A hugely proud moment.  The picture above?  The traditional throwing in the air of the graduation caps.  Great fun!

What made it really nice was that we were able to celebrate as a family.  That meant, my Mum & Dad and my father in law, all 84/85 years of age, travelled down the 175 miles to our house, the night before.  The five of us then drove the 70 miles to Bournemouth.

It is the 4th such ceremony my wife and I have been too.  My son graduated in Bristol, maybe 6 years ago.  My eldest daughter had two such ceremonies in Salford, Manchester, the first a degree ceremony, the second for her PGCE teaching qualification.  All wonderful memories.

I guess there is something transitional about such an event.  It is almost an ascent to adulthood.  Through university, you are my child.   You hopefully work hard.  But you also play hard, make friends and grow up.  When you have come through it, they give you recognition of your work in the form of a diploma/certificate, something that will hopefully provide an entry to your first full-time time job.

We don’t really have coming of age ceremonies in this country.  Yes as young adult we may celebrate their 21st birthday and (historically) this was when you got the key to the door, but in many cultures, they do much, much more.  I was moved to ‘google’ ‘rites of passage’ and found this, God help them!

“The Okiek are a tribal people of Kenya. Their rite of passage ceremony is similar for girls and for boys, ages 14 to 16, though the genders are initiated separately. The initiates are first ceremonially circumcised or excised. (ouch!) After this, they live in seclusion from adults of the opposite sex for four to 24 weeks. They paint themselves with white clay and charcoal in order to appear as wild creatures (cemaasiisyek). Certain secret knowledge is imparted by same-sex elders. The most important knowledge concerns the cemaasiit – a mythical beast that haunts the initiates during their time in seclusion. At night its roar can be heard, and the initiation is complete when each youth has seen and held the instrument used for producing the roar and then produced the roar themselves.”

Hmm, well I’m glad we don’t do such things in the UK!

Anyway, back to my story.  I was saying that the graduation ceremony is for me as a parent the time at which I watch my child and release him/ her into Adulthood.  I/we will always be there for them, but this is the moment that they stand on their own two feet.

The ceremony itself at the Bournemouth International Centre was very well organised.  There were two big screens as well as a good view of stage and speakers.  Very colourful, in their gowns, very efficient and each graduate was announced and walked across the stage.  A quick bow to the Dean gave a photo opportunity and the shake of hands another.  There followed a Champagne reception for the hundreds of graduates, lots of photo opportunities.  Perfick!

Photos with the certificate.  Pictures with each of us individually and together.  Lots with her nursing girl friends.  The boyfriend came too.  A lovely meal and then goodbyes all round.  Everyone was so proud and so pleased to be there to share her happiness.  In particular, my mother; she has very limited mobility, has had multiple hip operations, uses two sticks etc.  Came down had to cope with long journeys, stairs at our house, a long time on her feet.  But she had been so looking forward to it.  It is this type of happy event that keeps you going, that makes life worth living.

My daughter successfully interviewed for a job at Lymington Hospital a couple of months ago, but has been waiting that time for her CRB (criminal records bureau) checks.  Typical bureaucratic nonsense as all the checks were in place for her as a student, but all of a sudden you need to go through the whole process again.  Anyway, notwithstanding that, the even better news is that she is starting on a medical ward, full-time, from next Monday, a timely co-incidence.

Long term she wishes to work in the community and I am sure she will make a wonderfully dedicated Community Nurse.  She has a very caring way with the elderly sick or infirm and a calm authority that lends itself to being able to organise but at the same time be treated as a favourite niece, or confidante.  She enjoys the community side as a means to get to know her patients, rather than treating and moving on which you tend to get in hosipital wards.  But that is for the future.

For now, a permanent job.  A nice house to rent.  Living by the sea.  Lots of good friends… and a boyfriend.  And a degree behind her.  Her family behind her.

As parents we were hugely proud; and it was a real feel-good day out ~ one to remember.

If you have been thanks for reading!

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November 4, 2010 Posted by | other/ family | , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments