Graduation Upd8

Last Friday, I gave my final exam speech in an attempt to exempt a required Speech class that somehow slipped through the cracks during the past few years at Augusta Tech.  I believed that I had a class to transfer from a past college experience, but I was incorrect.  Without the class,  I wouldn’t graduate as planned. I passed the speech and then was given the direction to prepare for the written exam. My teacher gave me a review sheet to study. I b.e.l.i.e.v.e I could have passed the test right then, had it been necessary.  Most of the questions seemed “obvious” to me … BUT I’ve been speaking in front of groups for ages.

In fact, the first “speech” that I remember was when I was around my sophomore year in high school.  I was in a drama class taught by Mr. Fred Allen in Thomasville, Georgia. We were assigned to do any type of presentation/performance we would like. Others sang or gave a monologue. I almost remember someone dancing, but my memory could be flawed on that one. I remember my own choice; I chose to talk about advertising.

I was basically poking fun at the ads, logos and spokesmen of the time. It surprises me that, even thirty years ago, I paid close attention to advertisements that did a poor job of conveying their message or that embarrassed themselves in their own ads. This is something that I still notice today.

In fact, I’ll show you an ad campaign currently going on in our area. It is for a school that is sending out the message that their kids are ready for life by eighth grade? (That’s what I gather from the ad) But, when I try to decipher the coding of the message, the play on words/images doesn’t work. The school is a denominationally based school. So, the billboard is trying to say the school/curriculum is based on “faith.” But, de-code it:  the board says, “fate-th.” It doesn’t work for me … no matter how hard I try. It’s close, but “fate-th” is not the same as “faith” any more than “prostrate” and “prostate” are the same. Ya know?

In their defense, the other billboards work well!!  Here’s one that is super!!

Anyway …. my point is that I’ve always paid attention to words, images and their messages.

The topic of my speech last week, in fact, was on beauty, self-acceptance and how we (and those around us) are so strongly influenced by the message that we receive from advertising.

Having received the review sheet on Friday, I had until Wednesday to study for the exam. I took the test and made a 92!!  Yay!  So, I’ve turned in the proper paperwork to have the Speech exemption qualify me for graduation. UNLESS some new snag comes up, I’ll be standing in line to cross the stage for graduation on Wednesday, June 15th!!

I’m excited …. and nervous.  Recently, in talking to a friend, I used the analogy of jumping off a dock to compare how I feel about graduation. No matter how excited one might be about going swimming, you know that once you jump off the dock, you’re going to  be soaking wet and you will have to swim. This is similar to how I feel about graduating. I’m excited about graduating, but once I have the degree, it’s time to decide what I’m going to do. There is no more waiting to “finish” this or that. That’s it; it’s time to swim. I’m pretty nervous … but it’s the next step.

It is time to walk str8 to my f8. No need to circumnavig8 or w8. In my gr8 orn8 gown, I will navig8 my way, trying not to be l8, as we gather to celebr8. I absolutely h8 that my prior-m8 won’t be there. I won’t insinu8 that I am not prostr8 before God … asking that He infl8 my knowledge, ab8 my worries, accentu8 my strengths, cre8 a place for me with clients to remuner8 … all without my needing to sed8. Now I st8, time to step up to the pl8 … another upd8 at a near d8.

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