Tuesday, September 15, 2009

I Finally Have My Diplomas

I graduated from college twice and haven't seen my diplomas in 25 years.

When I was young it was drilled into me that I should get a formal education so that I could better understand and appreciate the world I would step into. I was told that a formal education would make it possible for me to take advantage of opportunities that might come to me, especially those where a general formal education was required.

So, in 1967 I enrolled in Northeast Louisiana State College as a music major. Over the course of the next eight years that major changed several times: Radio and television, Education, Pre-law, Political science, Speech and Drama, and Journalism.

I didn't have any place to live in my first semester so I hung around the buildings until night and slept on the floors under desks, washing out my two shirts and underwear in the bathroom sink and going to class the next day. I started a little fly sheet and wrote about campus life and sold it to students to pay my tuition and get food. (I'm still printing that fly sheet. It's called the Monroe Free Press newspaper.)

I also enrolled in a seminary in Texas and took correspondence bible courses, too.

In 1972 I graduated the first time and graduated again in 1975.

They gave me two diplomas that I threw in a closet somewhere. In 1984 I stumbled upon them and carried them to be framed. Before I could pick them up the shop closed and my diploma's disappeared.

I didn't have the diplomas but I had the information. Those who advised me in my youth were right, the education I received opened my eyes to the world. The fact that I had a little "edgumacation" made others take me serious and made me see things more seriously.

This year, 25 years after the framing shop closed down, a lady came to my office with a package. She had bought the building used by the frame shop and found my diplomas.

Twenty five years later, I finally have my diplomas.

But what's better, I have what they represent.