Friday, May 14, 2004

Well, it is now offcial. This morning I officially became a former student at Texas A&M and received my Master of Engineering Degree in Civil Engineering at the commencement ceremonies this morning. No family was there, a few friends of mine who were also graduating this morning were pretty much the only folks who I think were there that I knew and spend anytime with. Speakng of which: Congratulations Jay! Congratulations Wendy, everything worked out! Anyway, it was awesome. In a small way it made leaving Rhode Island and the only place I had ever called home and moving here to Texas a bit more valid, though I wouldn't trade anything for the friends I've made here...that in and of itself has made it worth it.

I'm the first in my family to receive a Master's Degree, just as I was the first to receive a Bachelor's degree. It was only 4 years and 1 day between them too! Honestly, today was more special, just because of the ups and downs I've been through over the last 4 years and just looking back at how much I've changed and how my outlook on life has changed since. For those who don't know the story, I was working in the Boston area with an engineering firm that I thought was pretty good until I got deeper and deeper into the know there. I'm not going to name the firm and a lot of what they had employees doing, but some of it was not above the board. That kind of cutthroat culture kills a person slowly if you stay in to long. So grad school started looking better and better, thanks to an old friend (yeah Stephie Sue that's you) and her stories of undergrad days at A&M I put A&M on my short list of schools. Then September 11 happen and changed the world and out country. The following week, I turn on the TV for college football and who is on, the Aggies. The camera just panned the stadium in the opening shots and there is was "Red, White, and Blue Out". Let's just say, it made an impression which helped when I got my acceptance letter in the mail. I thought about for all of a split second and decided I was moving to Texas. It just two weeks to let me family in on the news until I got some other news from other schools I could laugh at for their financial offers.

So here I moved, not knowing anyone here and never having seen the town. It was love at first site and I quickly settled into Aggieland. It has been such a wonderful experience since..if I were to write it all it would take up a lot of room.

I just need to thank so many...first and foremost I need to thank God because I certainly am not capable to getting through anything without His grace. My family for being so supportive of everything, wish y'all could have been here. Of course, my friends near and far who are quite simply the best bunch of friends anyone could ask for, somehow you put up with me. Well it's a bit past 1 central time which means it's lunch time...I'll do that, relax a bit and then get ready for a night of Aggie Baseball and flaming Dr. Peppers.

The Flaming Dr. Pepper

3/4 shot Amaretto Almond Liqueur
1/4 oz 151 Proof Rum
1/2 glass Beer

1. Fill a shot glass about 3/4 full with amaretto and top it off with enough 151 proof rum to be able to burn.

2. Place the shot glass in another glass and fill the outer glass with beer (right up to the level of the shot glass).

3. Ignite the amaretto/151 and let it burn for a while. Blow it out (or leave it burning if you're brave - not recommended) and slam it. Tastes just like Dr. Pepper.

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