These be my sibs, Allison and Ben, bedecked in their “stool” of graduation (Ben’s joke, not mine). They are the two brown-eyed beauties of the family (and therefore, my Dad’s favorite kids…he’s partial to brown eyes). And just about a week and a half ago they both graduated on the same day from the University of Utah, Allison in Communications and Ben in Chemical Engineering. Yay! It’s been a long time coming…well, for Ben it has been. Hilary can breathe a sigh of relief. Al is just 20 years old so she just breezed right through her college years.
We used to have a running family joke that Allison just might graduate before Ben, seeing as how she is 9 years younger than him. 🙂 But when you are pursuing a difficult degree like Chemical Engineering, it takes time. And when you have a wife going to law school, it takes even more time. And when you have a wife going to law school, having a baby, and raising a family, it takes even more time. So even though he may have been on the 7 year undergrad program, he worked hard in what is the most difficult of all engineering degrees – which was evidenced by how many were graduating in that discipline! (just a handful)
Al, or Allie as she is more commonly known to her friends, is following in my footsteps –er, so to speak. I mean that only as in she is focused on her writing. Al is an amazingly accomplished writer with biting wit, if you ask me. She cracks all of us up with her comic nuances and being the baby of the family, she has been spoiled rotten…although she will deny, deny, deny, we know the truth, Al. Just ask my parents. Al was invited along with 38(?) other graduating seniors to submit a commencement speech to be judged and reviewed by the graduation committee. We all joked that they must have thought she was of some foreign nationality (the dark, almond-eyed beauty that she is) because if they knew she was just some white Mormon girl from Bountiful, they never would’ve invited her to submit a speech in the first place. As it was, a very lovely black girl gave the student commencement speech did a great job. I told Al she should’ve tanned more and maybe she would’ve had a chance. 🙂
Now we can officially say that every single person in our family has a degree. My parents have instilled in us since we were very young the importance of education. My dad would routinely talk to us at Family Home Evening, at the start of every school year that “education is a priceless gift – it can never be taken away from you unless you let it”. He and my mom both encouraged all five of us kids to study hard, get good grades, and graduate from college. So thanks, parents, we all owe you one.
Besides graduating, Ben and Al are off on very different adventures. Ben has a really great job that will be taking him to Green River, Wyoming for awhile. it’s an exotic location that we know will be difficult for him to assimilate to. The humid air, the tropical plants, and I’m sure he’ll have difficulty learning the local language, Cowboy-ese. He moves in just a couple of weeks and actually kicks off what will be The Great Exodus of Brewster Kids this summer.
Allison decided she needed to learn a language other than the Spanish she studied for three years at the U of U. So she is currently practicing her German on a daily basis. She left for a summer in Germany just a couple of days ago and is making it up as she goes along. She bought a one way ticket, found an amazingly wonderful family to rent a room from for $50/month, and is going to be (hopefully) gainfully employed in a part-time job at the US Air Base over there. And taking every advantage of traveling all over Europe every weekend. I told her she should stay as long as she can (sorry, Mom, but she should) because at no other time in her life is she going to get opportunities like this. Single girl, school finished, no debt, freedom to do what she wants…man, I’m jealous. I spent 7 weeks in Paris at 19 and I think about that period of my life frequently. Al, being 20 and just a stinkin’ smart kid, has everything ahead of her. I hope she stays long…because then maybe I can come visit her! (and it all comes back to me)