uc_davis_logo.gif Today, just today, only today, I realized that the end is in sight. The end of my prestigious career as a college student is just around the corner, smack in the center of June. There is a definite day (June 17) and a definite time (2:00pm). On that day and at that time I will don a cap and gown, with the tassel hanging on the sophomoric left. And, upon the announcement of my name, I will walk across a platform and receive a piece of paper from a man I don't know, and I will shake his hand. Somewhere in the back of the crowd, my family will cheer. My dad will whistle loudly (because he's the only one of us who can). I will muster some dignity and move my tassel to the right. On the right my tassel will swing with an ease my heart and soul have not felt since high school! That is what I'm looking forward to.

Honestly, I haven't looked forward to graduation until today. In my first quarters at Las Positas everything was pointing to an eventual transfer to Davis. And in my first quarters at Davis, time and class requirements stacked end upon end, an eternity of education. Along the way I lost the drive from time to time, tossing the wretched books on the floor of my apartment and refusing to read... though my protests only hurt myself. You'd think I'd be smarter than that, wouldn't you?

Then I was looking forward to my wedding. And then to my marriage. Love tinted every aspect of my life a delightful shade of red. But it was also a distraction. I forgot that my goal was approaching fast.

Today, just today, only today, it hit me. I am one quarter (9 units, 10 weeks, 21 class meetings, 10 assigned books...) away from graduation. It's so close! So very much closer than I'd originally thought! It sneaked right up on me while I poured myself into insurance on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

Of course, in order to make it to that graduation day, I still have to suffer through that God-awful drive. The one that numbs my butt and my mind. One hundred and sixty miles round trip. Just 3,360 more miles to go. And all of it through scenic Vacaville, Dixon, Martinez... ugh! I could probably complain more about it, but I'll try not to.

Because the truth is, on the day that Jon and I make that drive for the last time, on the way to the ceremony that shall begin the ultimate justification of my dedication and hard work (and unbelievable amounts of driving time), I'll probably cry. A little. Not because I'll miss the drive, which I'm sure I could do in my sleep, so I'll probably end up dreaming about it. And not because I'll miss Davis or Fairfield or Benicia. Why on earth will I cry? Because the last time I do almost anything is at least a little bit sad.

Tonight is not the time to dwell on what I'll miss at Davis. My school. Another time. Probably in June. Perhaps I'll hunt down the words of the school fight song... or deck my page with Aggie colors. Not tonight. I'm still just a fifth year senior on the verge of a degree. Until I actually achieve it and move that tassel to the right, I am not truly justified.

However, today, finally, it hit me that I am on the home stretch. And while the distance that remains for me to drive is equal to a cross-country trek, or to 3 round-trips to Disneyland, I must not think about those things!

If I do, I'll never make it to that tantalizing finish line... where my A.B. in English is waiting just for me!