Another Commencement

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Strange word to use when I thought it was the end of high school and then college. Naïve? Oh yeah.  Little did I know . . .

When I graduated from UNCG I thought my education was at an end and, since I knew everything, I was on my way.  Thank goodness I was wrong.  Even today I learn something new every day, whether it’s for my job or my family or my life.  And it’s not boring.

Maybe I’m no longer in a formal classroom with a defined teacher at the front, but my education never stopped.  Working in an office, of course I’ve had to keep up with technology – well I’ve tried at least – and psychology and accounting and  . . . well, you get the picture.  I’ve learned the art of Madeline Albright using necessary diplomacy and how to manage my time some.

Mostly though I’ve learned about people. I get to watch them all the time. And that has come in handy. The last thing I want to write is a two-dimensional character, someone unbelievable. Real people are layered, not all evil nor all good, but a great mix of it all. That’s what I try to bring to these people I create.

Kat is definitely not happy about the direction her life was forced into in Rth Rising, and Davd knows he wants more but isn’t sure what that is. It was fun watching them grow and fight me to change it when they didn’t think I’d gotten it right.

For today – congratulations baby girl – I’m so proud of you!

Excerpt from Rth Rising –

Kat’s graduation the next week was full of pomp and circumstance. She missed Da. He would have been proud of her on more than one level, knowing that like him, she made the best of what faced her and had done a good job. Of course, Gramma Lil’s pride nearly overwhelmed her.

Head, wearing his full dress uniform, caused a thrill she felt down to her marrow when he intoned her name, then attached the pin to her lapel. He actually winked at her though she knew no one else had seen it.

She had been stunned after the conferring of pins, to find that she had graduated the top of her class. She was aware her marks were good; but still she was surprised. He called her back to the front to award her the certificate. She could hear Gramma Lil, Bree and Danl’s clapping above all the others.

It looked as though Head wanted to clap as much as they did. Regardless of her preferences, she would be happy to report to this man.

At the reception following the ceremony, it felt as though everyone in the class came up and spoke to her, congratulating her. She wasn’t completely sure all of the comments were sincere; but it felt good, if a little embarrassing, to be the center of attention. Head stood beside her showing what felt like fatherly pride and letting everyone know how he felt about her achievements.

When things finally began to thin out, he turned to her. “I know your traditional education is completed, but I’d like to offer you a position reporting to me for the next year. I would be honored to mentor you.”

She blinked her astonishment, then smiled. “Sir, I would be honored.”

Head nodded. “We’ll talk in my office. Now, go have fun with your friends.”

“Thank you.” She stood there as he walked off and jumped a little when Gramma Lil touched her arm. “Do you believe that?”

“Of course I do—what?” Gramma Lil smiled up at her.

“Head just asked to mentor me this next year. Me!”

“I should thump you on the head,” Gramma Lil retorted.

“What?”

“You’re surprised! My darling Kitten, don’t you have any clue how incredible you are?”

“Gramma—”

“She’s right,” Bree chimed in from her other side. “Did you not know about the award? You looked thoroughly shocked. I am so proud of you.”

“Okay, that’s enough of that,” Kat hugged Lil and then Bree. Danl winked at her and she grinned. They headed back to Kat’s apartment for dinner.

“Do you know where you’ll be assigned?” Bree asked as she helped put the food out on the table.

“Not really; though if I’m reporting directly to Head, I’ll get to stay here at Centerport. First years usually work in retail, keeping an eye out for petty thieves. The thought is, if you can get an anti-social person into treatment earlier, they don’t become true drains on Puter and hopefully won’t escalate to bigger crimes.”

“They’re actually sent to psych for readjustment?” Danl asked. “I always thought that was just a tale to scare kids.”

Kat shook her head. “It’s not widely discussed, but people, healthy people, don’t feel the need to steal from Puter. And besides, it doesn’t harm anyone. These people are just,” she shrugged, “readjusted. Afterwards they go back to their homes and their jobs and fit in like they’re supposed to.”

“Fit in,” Danl repeated. “I guess that’s for the best.”

Something about that comment made Kat look over at him; but he had turned away. What he said was correct. It was for the best, but his tone…They dropped the subject as Bree took her seat at the table.

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