Thursday, May 5, 2011

The Graduate and/or How to Make a Graduation Present Out of Old Emails

This week is a big week for Beezus5.  Yesterday she graduated from grad school and today is her 30th birthday.  But she has a birthday every year so let's focus on grad school.  Three years ago, she decided that she didn't want to spend the rest of her days "making copies and moving commas around in documents", so she decided to go to school for Speech Language Pathology. 

This was a long and trying road for both of us.  For her, it was because she actually had to go to school and do homework and take tests and do projects and stuff.  For me, it was because I had to constantly inspire her with witty emails, quotes, and pictures.  At some point in the Fall of 2008, I decided to start sending her inspirational emails.  At this time she was taking undergrad pre-req classes in order to get into the graduate school program.  She was also still working her day job.  My inspirational emails included....

Song Lyrics......
such as, 'I Believe I can Fly' by R. Kelly.


Inspirational Quotes
"Once you say you're going to settle for second, that's what happens to you."
John F. Kennedy
"The only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary."
Vidal Sassoon
"It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, just as much to stand up to our friends." Dumbledore

Quotes from TV Shows....
I won't bore you with these but The Office, 24 and Lost all feature their fair share of inspirational quotes.  I even typed out the "Live Together, Die Alone" speech from Lost one day.  I really think that got her through some tough tests.

You might be wondering why I felt it necessary to send these types of emails out several times a week.  It was mostly because Beezus5 went all Hermione (Harry Potter reference) on me and started acting mildly crazy for a few months.  This mostly occurred during 2009 when she was waiting to hear if she was officially accepted into the graduate program.  Here is some background info...she made straight A's in all her pre-req classes,  all her teachers jumped at the chance to write her recommendations, she did volunteer work, she is fluent in Spanish (which made her a hot commodity in the SLP field), etc.  However, she convinced herself she wasn't going to get in based on the following reasons....

"If we are annoying and have bad personalities, they won't let us in"
"I talk a lot in class.  Maybe too much.  Maybe they think I'm a kiss ass"
"I turned my observations in really late"
"I got an 84 on a test"

Amazingly, in mid-March, B5 got the glorious news that she had been accepted into the program and was also offered a Graduate Assistantship (aka money).  I'm pretty sure they only give those to the smart kids.  After that it was semi-smooth sailing.   There was still lots of work (for her) but I stopped having to send the inspirational emails every day.  I guess if I had to add it up, she gets 90% credit for her degree while 10% goes to me.

To celebrate the occasion, I printed out a bunch of our old email correspondences and gmail chats and turned them into a memoir.

I also ordered her this owl picture from Etsy because she likes owls and because owls are wise, like her.

So congrats B5 and oh yeah, Happy Birthday!

PS-And congrats to my brother (who I'm pretty sure does not read this blog) who is graduating from grad school today also!  I never had to send him inspirational emails so I can't really take any credit for his degree.


Hutch said...

Awesome and hilarious! I do love a good inspirational non-forward email.

Anonymous said...

Congrats to Beezus on her degree...and to you for helping her make it happen!

Your email book really is a great gift. I might have to steal that idea one of these days.

fojoy said...

That is such a great idea!
And as a truly helpful and inspirational friend, you should get a portion of her income from now until the end of time

Amanda @ It's Blogworthy said...

YAY for her!! That's so awesome.

Bonnie said...

Last night i was (somewhat drunkenly) trying to explain to my classmates about the wonderful gift you gave me and how it will help me always remember how i felt when i started school and how sometimes i just need you there to give me a good old face slap. slap. right in the face. Everybody agreed it was the best graduation gift ever. Im going to keep it in that blue notebook thing they gave me for a diploma that is not actually there. It was a rough road, but i couldnt have done it without that essential 10% inspiration and support you gave me. Thanks JM.

Jenni said...

Jane-Marie you are really amazing. Great gift! Lots of praise to you! :)

Anonymous said...

u r a great friend -lfab

Crazy Shenanigans-JMO said...

That's so awesome!!

Mo Young said...

Okay, so this post makes me smile, laugh, cry ... way to be awesome JMJE - and ESPECIALLY Bonnie!!!