Wednesday, 27 May 2009
Nathan’s graduation is this morning at 10 a.m. at the University of Manitoba. He will be getting his second degree at University. This one will be his Bachelors of Education. Someone would have to be amazingly proud to be any prouder than I am right now.
Nathan is my only son and my youngest child. With his graduation this year it marks a real milestone not only for Nathan but for me and his Dad. We have had at least one child in school for the last 30 years. Angelique entered school at the age of 4 and I was 23.
So while this post is all about congratulating Nathan and letting him know how proud we are it is also a post about 30 years of having children in school and how really proud we are of each of our children; Angelique, Nadalene, and Nathan.
We sent our children to French Immersion School and they all went to Ecole Howden from Kindergarten to Grade 6. When Angelique started, it was only the second year they had the immersion program and neighbours on our street were protesting that it wasn’t in English and had come to our door to have us sign a petition. I was like ‘No that is where I intend my children to go.’ I was not popular but that was not something I would give a shit about.
For Grades 7 to 10 they went to College Beliveau a French Immersion High School.
For them that was the end of the public school system. Although it was great (we have some wonderful public schools) I had always intended that they go on for further education so I wanted to send them to the University of Winnipeg which has a private high school within the University program which helps students to have an easier transition to University, as the high school is run on the same schedule as the universities and all reports and work had to be done to university standards.
When all three had graduated from the University of Winnipeg ‘Collegiate’ they went on to attend the University of Manitoba.
Angelique achieved her Bachelor of Arts, an Honors Degree in Psychology, and a Bachelors of Education Degree. She is now working as a Grade 7 Teacher.
Nadalene achieved her Bachelor in Environmental Design (Architecture) and her Masters in City Planning. Nadalene is now working as a City Planner.
Nathan achieved his Bachelor of Arts and his Bachelor of Education Degree is what he will be receiving today.
So as I am using this post to talk to Nathan this morning I am also using it to talk to Angelique and Nadalene.
You are all a source of pride to your Dad and me. While none of you speak of your achievements, they are still spoken aloud because Dad and I speak of them amongst ourselves.
Dad and I are with all of you forever even when we know that you can walk on your own.
We hope that none of the things that I say here will come as a surprise; after all you have all heard it before. Even so, this is a good time for us to tell you that when we look at you we see more than what anyone else sees. We see the little girls and the wee boy that you were and we see and appreciate all your hard work to become the caring, intellectual, and brave people you are now.
For example, we can see into your hearts. We know what you are all made of and it is so refreshing to know that while you all have shallow places you also have depth too.
What I think about in my secret heart is how the rest of the world will be able to benefit and enjoy all of you.
Don’t get demoralized and don’t think you can’t do what can be done. Don’t underestimate your potential. Take intellectual responsibility for yourselves. Make life interesting and never quit learning. You will all shape your own lives. Don’t wait to be told to start something, start it whenever you like.
Being an adult means taking responsibility for your own life, don’t care about unimportant things or what other people think of you. And by other people I mean random people. Be selective about the people you choose to have in your life. Be selective about the people you choose to have as friends. Choosing friends or partners should be done based on your respect for them and on your respect of their judgment.
To all of you, dear hearts, dear Angelique, Nadalene, and Nathan we want you to remember that if you ever get lost just look to the sky and we will be there directing you back home. The stars will find you and show you where you need to be. We hope that all your dreams take you to your highest hopes made real, to all the doors of new opportunity, and to the homes of each others hearts.
Nathan you have such amazing potential. How do I describe the range of feelings I have today? I am proud of course, immensely proud. So, what are my feelings? I am proud, I am relieved, and I feel fortunate that you are my son, I am a touch sad, and I am happy that you have the whole world ahead of you.
Mr. Khan is something you will hear a million times a day now and I believe that the children that are fortunate enough to have you as their teacher will be calling Mr. Khan with affection and respect.
*artwork by Kelly Vivanco