We gathered at Kelley’s 15 strong Wednesday night to break bread for Elisabeth, to show this amazing young woman how proud we all are of what she’s accomplished these past two years.
The food was good. The smiles were better. We were thrilled to then head down the road apiece to Onondaga Community College.
My terrific daughter and her lifelong friend, Meghan, took off first to get her to Storer Auditorium on time, so professors and students they selected for this special evening could hear instructions and line up in the lobby of the pretty campus building.
Elisabeth waved when we walked in some 10 minutes before the start time, and pointed us toward the theater.
I grabbed the program at the doors, and let the official name of the night sink in. Student Honors Ceremony. Inside 36 names were listed as recipients of Curriculum Honor Awards. One student per each taught at the very good community college in our county. And there it said, “Physical Therapist Assistant, A.A.S. Elisabeth Bialczak.”
The teachers led their students into the theater and the rows reserved for them. One by one, they went to the podium to tell all why each was special.
Kristen Lounsbery obviously cherished her time teaching Elisabeth, as I caught with this YouTube video with my iPhone 6.
I enjoyed listening to all the students’ stories. There were many who, like my daughter, went back to college after years in the workplace. Some, in fact, returned to the classroom after more than a decade of working. Others also had their bachelor’s degree yet went back for a career-specific associate’s. This is the way of our working world now, I thought.
Out in the lobby, another PTA prof, Cindy Warner, and the curriculum administrative assistant, Sheila Penn, also greeted our flock and posed for a photo for Elisabeth’s mom, Diane. I took it from the side.
They all smiled to meet the diverse group of folks supporting their student, as the names spilled out. Sister April, nephew Dillon, boyfriend George Three and his mom, Susan; stepmom Karen …
… and beaming dad Mark.
Way to go, Elisabeth. You did it.
What are you bragging about these days? Have you ever considered a career change, and if so, what did you do or would you have to do? What was your hardest class ever, and why?