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Graduation speech

I really did it!

After my post on Friday, you asked for the speech. Well, I found it on the backup drive, so here you go…

Family, friends, and faculty – thank you for coming tonight to celebrate with us.  Your support is invaluable, and we appreciate your presence for this exciting moment.

Tonight, at this long-awaited event that we’ve worked so hard for, I represent the 2005 graduates of the Master’s in Industrial and Technical Studies program.  I am honored to speak on their behalf.

As we get ready to leave Cal Poly, I know many of us have been reflecting on our time here, and wondering what the future holds for us.  But, what is it that made our time here so special?

Sure, the IT program is ranked in the top three nationwide.  And yes, we have a unique focus being attached to a business college rather than an engineering school.  And our projects with industry really bring the subject matter to life.  But there’s definitely more to it than that.

For me, one significant part of it is the faculty.  When I was applying to graduate school here, the application (for those of us coming from other schools) asked for a letter of recommendation from a former professor.  Well, at that time I had been out of school for eight years, and realized that I couldn’t really remember any of my instructors, and I’m quite certain none of them remember me.

Now, standing here, I cannot imagine ever forgetting the people at Cal Poly who taught my classes, pored over my thesis, and attended our club meetings.  And I feel confident that not only will they remember me, too, but that we’ll keep in touch.  The Industrial Technology faculty take an interest in the students, not just their education.

They care enough to form relationships, learn our names, get involved with our clubs, and keep up with our lives.  So to Drs. Labhard, Singh, Olsen, Djassemi, Barber, Sena, Abitia, Gay, Keep, Randazzo, Mr. Valdez, and to Dr. Cyndi Crother who has left Cal Poly, but continues to inspire others while living her dream: THANK YOU for leaving a bit of yourselves with us.

To the students, you above all made this journey worthwhile.  IT is like a close-knit family of caring and amazing people.  I’ve never met so many people who could come together as a team so easily.  And despite most people’s fear of public speaking, I’ll bet any one of the people with blue tassels down there would be willing to stand in my place right now.

Together we struggled to tell cedar from mahogany, and brass from bronze.  We developed new products, designed new facilities, and discovered that with Dr. Olsen, a four-hour class is really four hours long!

We survived the heat wave with no air conditioning, and we tackled Randazzo’s study guides as a team.

What really makes the Industrial Technology program special is that IT students are friends, teammates, and cheerleaders.  Thank you for welcoming me into your group, for making school fun, and for the teamwork and support.  You are friends that I’m proud to stand with on this special day.

Now, since I have the microphone all to myself, I have to mention one other group that made my experience great: MY FAMILY.  My amazing husband gave me his full support even though he, too, was working on his masters, and our awesome boys put up with both of us while we did homework, attended group meetings, and studied for exams.  I couldn’t have made it through without your patience and love – THANK YOU for sticking with me for this long!

So fellow graduates, as we all head off in separate directions, I am confident that we will make our mark on the world as we did here at school.  I expect to see every one of you on the famous alumni list someday because you all have excellence in you.

Aristotle once said, “We are what we repeatedly do.  Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”  Go out there and continue to make a habit of excellence.

Congratulations class of 2005!  Thank you.

My Ideal Office: Missing the SLO Life

When I was in grad school at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, CA (or SLO, pronounced “slow” by the locals), one of the things I loved about the campus was all of the outdoor nooks and crannies where I could hole up and study while surrounded by trees and plants. The weather was spectacular year-round, and I took every opportunity to be outside.

What a great environment for writing! If I could, I'd tote my MacBook and a sack lunch to Cal Poly–or nearby Shell Beach!–every day and write for hours. Unfortunately, I'm a few thousand miles away, but, the longing got me thinking about my ideal office. I came up with a short list of things my perfect writing space would have.

  1. Lots of light, but no glare (maybe even a sky light)
  2. Plenty of greenery, both inside and out
  3. Lots of windows to let in the light, the breeze, and the view
  4. A great view, preferably with some water in it
  5. A desk at the perfect height for typing on a laptop
  6. A comfortable office chair
  7. A cozy chair for curling up to read, or taking a break from the desk (I like the one-and-a-half-sized armchairs)
  8. Large dry erase and magnet boards
  9. A tall bookshelf

I'm sure I could go on, but I really should start working on my book…

What would your ideal workspace be like?

P.S. My site's header photo is from a spot in Shell Beach (one of my favorites in the world) just below Spyglass Park.  You can tell I took the photo in winter because the mountains are green instead of yellow.