Last weekend we returned to our homeland (of 13 years) for the college graduation of our third child, our second son, Paul.
To my way of thinking, graduating from college is quite an accomplishment. Perhaps it seems greater to me in view of the fact that I never attended college...except for one course in medical terminology a few decades ago. Of course their Dad is a college graduate, but I was the primary teacher of my children until they went to college. No, come to think of it, I teach them to read and to teach themselves, and after that they are mostly their own primary teachers. I select curriculum, check their work, help them when they need it. I would say I am more the "mentor"...though I do love those "teachable moments", too.
I think Paul's graduation is a greater accomplishment in view of the fact that he was left behind - early in his college career - when we had to move away to Baltimore for my husband's work...and then his older brother and sister had to move away to pursue their work. We are all most grateful to everyone who was there for him in so many different ways.
I think it was an even greater accomplishment in view of the fact that Paul went from 20/20 to blind in the course of a few months - in the middle of his college career. So...he went on with his life. I'm sure it wasn't easy. I'm sure he had his moments. But he finished college and ended with a good grade point average and a chair award in his major.
Paul didn't only learn how to navigate to school and to classes in all kinds of weather and how to use an adaptive computer. He cooks for himself and sometimes his friends. He was a president of the Newman Club on campus. He was a senator of the student government association. He is a chancellor of a Knights of Columbus chapter.
If you were one of the ones who has prayed for Paul in his journey, I want to thank you from the depths of my heart. I would also like to ask you to keep those prayers coming as he pursues his career as a writer. He can write both non-fiction and fiction, and is currently looking for a writing job. As someone I met on campus said, "He is a brilliant writer." I was trying to pick up some writing tips from Paul this weekend about writing fiction. He told me there are many different ways, that there is no one formula. And then I learned that he "sees" a story in his head like a movie, before he writes it down.
On the Friday evening before graduation, an animation short film that Paul and his classmates put together premiered in a little theater on campus. Some members of a production company came to meet the class and see the film. When it came time to walk over to the theater, the professor asked someone to lead the way, but she didn't know where the theater was. So Paul, with his guide dog, Chicago, led everyone to the theater.
You can visit the website for this short film, see the producers and writers, even hear round-table discussions about the production.
If you have nine minutes, you can even see the film itself.
Just click over to Linus and Nigel. Enjoy.