Back in June of 2013, a month after we’d been married, I’d discovered my 29 year old husband had been sitting on a scholarship fund, doing nothing with it. It would expire and the money would “disappear” (I think it would be returned to the scholarship organization from whence it originated) once he turned 30. At the time my husband Chris didn’t really have a game plan. He wanted to go back to school, but he wasn’t sure what direction to take it.
Because the scholarship was less than a year from disappearing I suggested he look at a vocational school rather than going the traditional jr college to a 4 year school route. Time was something we didn’t have a lot of and I knew that he could get stuck in a 2 year school struggling to get the last required class because of a lack of availability. He decided to pursue a degree in IT and researched several different schools. I spoke with a close friend who worked HR management for an engineering firm. Since she dealt with a lot of people looking for work I wanted her opinion on which vocational schools were taken seriously in her industry. ITT Tech was the stand out of the options Chris was looking at.
He decided to sign up with them and had a two fold goal. First goal was to obtain an AA in IT then go on to a BA in Cyber Security.
My husband flourishes in an educational environment, he absorbs the information and then soars with it. When we first began dating I was far more computer savvy than him. He understood basic office programs, but he had no experience with programming or dealing with hardware or virus issues. Now, he’s so much more educated on computer systems. I’ll sit in awe listening to him break down a computer issue and figure out the best way to fix it.
He started classes almost immediately after signing up with ITT. Every day he’d come home from school and beam about the new info he was learning. He loved school and it showed.
He just finished his AA program. Tuesday he walked in his cap and gown for his Associate of Science degree in Network Systems Administration. We arrived and he was immediately ushered inside the theatre to get instructions on how the ceremony would proceed. As I stood outside, waiting to go in with the rest of the families, and looking for both of our parents, I noticed a girl with her cap and gown as well as a cord and a Salutatorian stole. I knew Chris had a 4.0 grade point and I wondered why he didn’t have at least a cord.
Right about then Chris sent me a text, “So, apparently valedictorian is a thing!”
To which I replied, “uh… yeah?” I thought he was commenting on seeing someone’s stole.
Chris responded with, “Yup, Cause I’m wearing the thingy that says so. Lol”
I was so excited for him I almost screamed, which would’ve been slightly awkward since no one knew me there nor what was being discussed. I did, however, audibly squeal. Luckily, no one seemed to notice.
I was thinking back to high school when you knew who valedictorian was well before the graduation ceremony. We, however, learned minutes before his graduation. His mother learned by reading the program before she found me. Either way it was a very pleasant surprise!
He only had a week between finishing with his AA program and continuing on to his BA program. In order to be present at graduation he was given an excused absence from his Risk Management class that night. I’m extremely proud of my husband. He works very hard, sometimes 6 days a week, plus he goes to school full time at night. He’s very dedicated to his school work and I’m very glad to see he was recognized for it.
Now in all of this excitement, the only decent photo I got of Chris is the one above. He was walking with his class to the front to be seated and couldn’t stop as there was a line of other students directly behind him.
I did take a couple of videos of various points during the ceremonies. One shows all the valedictorians of each class. This is the shortest, and to me, the most important. It shows my husband walking to receive his well earned degree.
Good job, babe!