Friday, April 11, 2008
One of my first posts was about my daughter, Sara. I just re-read it and cried a little bit. Sara is a senior at The George Washington University and is going into the Peace Corps after she graduates.
When she left Maine for college in August of 2004, it was in my little VW Jetta with me nervously driving through some of the scariest roads in the northeast--talk about taking your life in your hands--she's lucky she even made it to college. That Jetta was really little and the trucks on those roads are really big and go really fast. The drive might have been frightening for us both, but her arrival in Washington, DC was like fitting a hand into a glove--it was just right. She stood on the corner of H and 22nd and held her arms open wide to the city and said, "I'm here!"
Sara loved the school and Washington instantly and her experience has been everything that a parent could hope for a child. She has always been a good thinker and talker, when she was little and my friends would come over to visit me, they would end up spending their time talking to Sara while I kept them all supplied with tea and cookies.
Anyway, a month or so ago, she told me that she was going to audition to be the student speaker at commencement. Commencement at GW is held on the national mall in front of the Capitol with a crowd of over 20,000. I was happy that she was trying and was impressed with the speech that she wrote, but really could a little girl from the mountains of Western Maine who is neither rich nor famous have a chance at such an honor?
The first hurdle was to compete within her college and then the winners from each college would compete. A couple of weeks ago she won for the College of Arts and Sciences. When I was with her last weekend we talked about it a little, but she was very low key--still waters run deep.
Today, she competed against the winners from the other colleges and graduate schools. She called me on her way back from the competition and said that she felt like she had done her best and she was just going to put it out of her mind. She wasn't able to put it out of her mind for long, because within a few hours she received a call saying "Congratulations, you are the student commencement speaker."
So on May 18, 2008 at 10:00 a.m. on the National Mall in the shadow of the Capitol and the Washington Monument, my little Sara is going to stand up and speak for her class. Her speech is incredible and so is she.