Today I finally GRADUATED! We flew my new WMU flag in honor of the special day. This day marks the end of quite a journey for me. I graduated from WMU once before–in April of 2001 with my bachelor of arts degree in Secondary Education with an English major and Spanish minor. After that, I took a couple years off to try to find a job. When I still didn’t have a job in January of 2003, I decided to get working on my Master’s degree, again from WMU. In fall of 2003 I got my teaching job at Wyoming Park and have been working full time (while taking on extra curricular stuff here and there) and going to WMU part time. I took off an entire year in 2005 because I was getting married and Cort’s dad was sick. Then I was back at it in the fall of 2006. So after all those years at WMU, I finally have my Masters of Arts in English with a Teaching Emphasis! Phew!
Check out that smile….I was SO ready to grab that tube and run. I got to my seat and opened my tube to see what fun surprise would be inside. I knew my real degree wasn’t in there because grades for the semester I just finished won’t be out until next week. There wasn’t much in that tube though…a letter of congratulations and an alumni association sticker. Big whoop.

After the ceremony, we decided to pose for some pictures. There I am with my right-hand man! My biggest cheerleader the past five years!
Check out my Master’s hood. Pretty snazzy, huh? You KNOW you want to rock one of those!
Mom and Dad also came to the ceremony…they have been great supporters too. My mom told me today that my Grandma Riemersma said I am the first Riemersma to get a Master’s Degree! Pretty cool stuff!
After we left WMU, we decided we were all ready for lunch (the ceremony was at 9:00 am! Ugh!) So Mom and Dad took us to TGI Fridays.
Then mom and dad surprised me with a gift! What?!?! I wasn’t expecting anything, but mom is pretty sneaky when she is proud of her kids. She and my dad got me a really pretty pair of earrings–aquamarine bloodstones–my birthstone. I’ll be sporting those puppies tomorrow at my party!When we got home, Louis was so excited to see me…even he is excited that I am done! Aww!!!
Originally I wasn’t going to walk and I was a bit skeptical this morning when the alarm went off at 5:30 am. But I am glad I did it, because now it feels official! And tomorrow I will get to see all of you! There is not a much better gift than that!

About Katie

Just a small town girl...wait no. That is a Journey song. Katie Sluiter is a small town girl, but she is far from living in a lonely world. She is a middle school English teacher, writer, mother, and wife. Life has thrown her a fair share of challenges, but her belief is that writing through them makes her stronger.