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Thursday, June 6, 2013

It Only Takes a Moment

A "liminal" moment. I learned what that meant on the night of my graduation ceremony at Alice Tully Hall in Lincoln Center. Still learning.  Missing the process.  Wishing for the opportunity to do it more.

The word "subliminal" refers to information we process unconsciously.  Therefore, a "liminal" moment is one we seek out consciously, an occasion, if you will, to commemorate a passage.  Weddings, graduations and funerals are all "liminal" moments. 

I was able to meet people that I had interacted with via the class discussion boards but had never met in person.  I was able, I believe, to make a friend -- a person with whom I shared class time, discussion boards and several group projects.  After a couple of disastrous group projects, this person was a breath of fresh air. A team player who kept up her part of the bargain, did the work, did it on time and did it well and kept in touch throughout.  A gem. I am so glad we met in real life and will continue to know one another.  I consider it such an honor.

There was a gap between when I actually finished my studies (December 2012) and the commencement ceremony (June 2013).  And I went back and forth about the business of actually attending. Why?  I'm not in my twenties anymore. What does it matter? Well, it turns out that it does
matter. Three years of online work, which I personally found more intense and demanding than any other college courses I ever attended in actual classrooms, along with all years of cutting and pasting classroom experience from C.W. Post, to Hunter College to the University of Michigan all the way back to C.U.N.Y.  All of it mattered.  All of it, even if some of the credits weren't transferred.  The knowledge mattered.

So, today, I am the first one of my parent's children to obtain a college degree. Today I am on equal educational footing with my husband. Today I can die in New Jersey and the death certificate will say I obtained a B.A. degree. Today I am no longer a secretary. Today I join the 25% of Americans (a stunningly low number) who have a college degree.  Today I am an indie author.  I am an author.

Funny what one little liminal moment can do.