Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Sophia’s graduation night: oh what a night

This past Friday night was my niece Sophia’s graduation from West Greene High School, the class of ‘23.  It was a long but special affair held in the school’s gymnasium, and I was impressed just seeing Sophia and her classmate London (the top two students of their class) sitting apart from their classmates, on the raised platform with the school’s principal and superintendent, among other esteemed faculty.

But when Sophia went to the podium to give her salutatory…. I was blown away.  She was kind, eloquent, decisive… she sounded like a real leader.

Here’s a couple photos of Sophia delivering said speech, and with her mom and dad, my sister Shawn and her husband Jim.

As impressed and proud I was to see her on that stage, I wasn’t surprised.  I’ve never known someone her age (in her era or mine) work and volunteer and study like Sophia did.  She earned that spot at the top, and then some.

Can I share one more thing here before I wrap this up?  Way back in August 2011, Shawn & Jim had taken 6 year old Sophia out for a day in the park, the day before her first day of school in the first grade. 

I called Sophia to ask if she was excited to start school the next day; she said she was but lamented that summer was over, there were still things she wanted to do. 

It tickled me so much I wrote a blog about it, and her mother & mine’s own first days of school, which you can see here:   My love-hate relationship with the first day of school 

I wrote that I hoped she enjoyed those school days because they’d be over before she knew it, even if she did have 12 years worth to look forward to.  How did they fly by so fast?  Maybe not for Soph or her mom, but I remember writing that like it was only a couple years ago.

Congratulations Sophia,  I can’t wait to see what you do next!

38 comments:

  1. She's going to Slippery Rock? That's so great. I forget how geographically close we are until I see something like this. Congratulations to Sophia!

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    1. Thanks Debby, and she is--that's pretty astute on your part. :^)

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  2. Congratulations to her, and to all those who excel like she does! :-)

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    1. Thank you DJan! Seeing as their our future, the more like her the better :^)

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  3. Congratulations to Sophia! What an exciting time for her, and her family. I suspect, based on her success thus far that she'll go far and do great things.

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    1. Thank you Maebeme, you're very kind! She's certainly ambitious, I wish I'd been a little more like her at that age. :^)

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  4. How smart and beautiful she is! Which college is she going to attend in the Fall, and what does she intend to major in? I read your 2011 post and left a comment there. Interesting that Duke attended Law School. I remember you mentioned that he doesn't socialize with you anymore. Too bad. Hope he is a Democrat for your sake! Haha.

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    1. Thank you Gigi, and for your 2011 comment too (my blog wasn't seen a lot back then, haha). Sophia is going to Slippery Rock University, and majoring in Occupational Therapy. She's been involved in athletics for so long, I guess she saw the potential in that field. As for my lawyer brother Duke, sad to say we haven't spoken in many years. But he's a super-Republican and always has been >:^\

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  5. Oh Doug, how wonderful! Congratulations to Sophia! She is absolutely gorgeous.
    Take care.❤️

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    1. Thanks very much Robin, you're very kind! :^)

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  6. Wonderful photo of you and the family! What an accomplished person Sophia is and I hope her future will be bright. I echo Gigi's questions about her plans for next year.

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    1. Thank you Margaret! I almost wish she'd followed your route into teaching, but she's studying Occupational Therapy at Slippery Rock University. And thanks for the kind words about that photo cuz I thought I looked pretty good there, haha :^)

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  7. Congratulations Sophia! And you have a right to be proud, Dug! I went back and read your earlier blog about first days... 6 year old Sophia's words, " I wish I had more time, there’s still some stuff I wanted to do... " I think she did a lot after that summer.

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    1. Rian, thank you so much (and for reading that earlier blog too) and you gave me a chuckle here--she DID do a lot after that summer! :^)

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  8. My goodness! Your niece looks just like her mother, your sister. Gorgeous. And smart. Good combination. I'm sure you are proud of both women. The years do go so quickly, it amazes me how time flies even faster now that I'm retired. Sounds like she has a good future planned for herself. We need therapists in all areas what with us all aging. Looking forward to your post on her college graduation.

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    1. Thanks very much dkzody, for all the nice things you said! And you're certainly right, regards to the need for therapists and such. I'm sure her college graduation will be here in no time at all. πŸ™‚

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  9. Congratulations Sophia!
    I always find it weird that your school year ends before the actual year ends.

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    1. Thank you River! Does the Australian school year end that differently?

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    2. Yes, we have summer from December to March, so the school year ends mid December and begins again the first week in February or the last week in January, depending on what school you go to. So each new year begins a new grade.

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    3. Thank you River, very interesting!

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  10. When that top picture was taken, you were likely thinking "Yes!!! My gene pool!!! We rock!!!!" So cute to hear her serious answer at only six to the school question. Well done Sophia!!! Good things, well deserved, await you.

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    1. Haha--thanks Florence! You sure know how to get to me :^)

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  11. Brains, beauty, leadership and ambition. I'd say that is a winning combination! You, Shawn and Jim must be very proud. That is a great picture of you and Sophia together. You are beaming with pride.

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    1. Thank you Susan, I'm proud of all of them! Sophia had some good parents, that's for sure. πŸ™‚πŸ‘

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  12. Congratulations to the graduate and her family. You must all be so proud!

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    1. Thank you Miss Merry! I don’t think I've ever seen a prouder mom than my sister. πŸ™‚

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  13. Well Duggie - Her uncle looks pretty trim in that photo! You have every right to be proud of that "little" girl! There's really a university called Slippery Rock? Sounds like a ride in a theme park. What's is their mascot? OT is a Master's Level degree. I've worked with several who've helped my patients, and my niece just got through the first Master's year. That degree's anatomy class and lab is tough, tough, tough. She might need to practice on her Uncle! Hooray! Linda in Kansas

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    1. Haha thanks Linda, you're very kind--I think my sister just got me at a good angle ;^) As for Slippery Rock, yes it's very well known here and has a pretty good reputation in the medical sciences. Anyway congrats on your own niece's achievements and if mine ever needs a human volunteer I'm ready! :^)

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  14. Aren't you the proud uncle - so great that your niece had extended family at her graduation. Best of luck to her in college and to her family that will have to be admiring and supporting from a bit farther afield. Maybe you can join in for Parent's Weekend!

    Ceci

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    1. Thank you Ceci! It's been awhile since I've spent time with Sopha like I did when she was a little kid, but you're very right I've always been one very proud uncle. Haha, I don't know if my sister would want me around for Parents Weekend, but we'll see!

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  15. Your friend Linda is right, OT is a seven-year program and she'll earn a masters degree if she doesn't change her major. Though she's going to try and do the fast track program in six years. (Their mascot is "Rocky the fearless lion" ... IDK why). I've visited the teepee more than once today just to re-read your very nice post. Hard to believe how fast the years have flown by! I'm grateful you came to see her graduate :)

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    1. Thanks Shawn, I'm glad you liked what I wrote and it was my pleasure to see Sophia get her diploma--I hope I'm around to see her get her college one too! :^)

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  16. Sophia is certainly a lovely young lady. I'm impressed every time you write about her. She is obviously headed for an exciting, successful future. It gives me hope to read about such a wonderful example of the upcoming generation when doom and gloom are often everywhere. Sophia has much to be proud of, as do her parents and her proud Uncle Doug! Congratulations to all of you!

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    1. Bobi, it was so nice to turn on my computer this morning and see this. You are so kind, thanks very much! πŸ™‚

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  17. I don’t know if it was a different time or a different culture (or both) but we didn’t wear mortarboards and gowns for our graduation. We just shambled up in whatever we were wearing.
    I didn’t even get a mortarboard for my university graduation, although we had gowns with different colored cowls denoting the faculty.
    Indeed Melbourne University (my alma mater) didn’t have any head ware for graduates apart from a big floppy hat for those who received PhDs.

    It’s great that Sophia is really smart as well as good looking. If she goes on to further education, I hope it’s in some STEM subject.

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    1. Thanks Peter, very interesting about the lack of graduation gear on your end. Well, I thought it was interesting that Sophia's class got to decorate their caps and keep them. When I graduated high school we had to turn all that stuff in. Anyway, she is going on to University and studying occupational therapy which I don't know a lot about but I understand is a 7-year study. 🧐

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  18. She's absolutely gorgeous and brilliant as well. Looks like she's also blessed with awesome parents and the best, proudest most wonderful uncle ever! She is very fortunate indeed with a bright future ahead of her.

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