December 17 , 2007

Wow - It's all done.

Two years, three months and 28 days from the day I started, I was "hooded" on the stage in the big gym.

What's even more impressive when you think about it, is that graduation occurred a scant three years and two weeks after the the idea was planted into my head. On December first of 04, MRS suggested that after I dropped her off at her new job, that I head on over to the University of New Mexico. I remember her comment.

"Hey, I hear they have a Law School over at the University. Why don't you go over there and check it out?"

I remember going in and asking the admission person if there was a way to apply to law school without going through the process of the LSAT. She of course told me no, but the interesting thing is that after being declined by UNM in the first place, I got in at ASU. It was there that the director of admission said to me, "Of course at your age the LSAT doesn't mean anything."

But I did it all, sat through the LSAT, applied, got rejected, applied elsewhere, got in, and then appealed to UNM to get in there.

All of that was over in 3 years and two weeks, from idea to graduation.

At 9:00 on Friday morning I opened my laptop and started the process to taking the final exam of law school. I had spend a brutal week studying for it all looked at the sealed packet with a great deal of apprehension. Screw this up and it a whole bunch of things get messed up as well.

Before starting the exam, I had to call in the IT guy because my laptop was not recognizing the exam software. It has served me especially well these last two and a half years, and I've pounded the keys almost off of the keyboard. Finally it started and performed well during the exam, but in the next weeks, we shall see it present the blue screen of death.

Meanwhile, the exam was easier than I had hoped and shortly after 1:00 in the afternoon I headed out to my car and Law School was officially "over."

Two of the three kiddies arrived on Thursday with the boy getting into ABQ late Friday afternoon. Graduation started at 6:00pm, and for this type of occasion, I was surprised that they started on time. Graduates with advanced degrees came down into the "pit" from behind the stage and we lined up in the first several rows. I don't know how it happened, but I got into the first row, and was the seventh person or so to get "hooded."

Following directions, I left my cap on my chair, because otherwise they said that it might get knocked off during the hooding. Therefore, for the official photos I looked kind of dumb without the hat, especially when just about no one else left theirs off.

I was the only one of the 16 or so who attended the on campus ceremony. Most of the students I spoke with said they would attend in May when the Law School had their graduation ceremony. Thank you no, it's over and I'm not at all interested in going back.

Afterwards it was off to dinner at a local Italian restaurant where my daughter and son-in-law surprised me by picking up the tab. It was great to celebrate with all of the family present.

Then it was back to the house for more celebrating and an evening of frolic. We started with a giant bottle of Italian Prosecco that we had been saving for a very special occasion. I really like Prosecco and we played around with the giant bottle for a bit before opening it.

Bubbles at high altitute quickly liven the spirits and I decided that in celebration of finishing the most brutal final of law school, I'd burn my notes and the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Knowing that they just republished new rules, I figured that if I ever needed them, I could always buy a current copy.

The rules burned really well.

The kids played cards while I worked on trying to salvage a computer that I had just purchased the week before. My brain was not up for learning a new card game.

A great evening was followed by a whole lot of clean-up the next morning.