There’s an anniversary in our family this week that I imagine we’ve forgotten about because we’ve been so busy. I didn’t, however, although for a moment I forgot exactly which day it occurred. For sure, though, it was in the month of May. And definitely for sure, it occurred 20 years ago today (May 16, 1999). This was the day that the older of my two sisters graduated from college.
Sis has been in the health care world for her entire professional life, and during the 1990s she went for further schooling, starting out at UW—Green Bay for a couple of semesters before transferring to UW—Madison. And 20 years ago, our entire family spent the weekend herein Madison, where we all saw Sis walk up to that stage, grab that diploma, and turn her tassel from right to left.
Now, at this point, I’m tempted to go on and on about having to spend a hotel room with my parents, but I want this to be a positive post (I’ll save the quirks for later). I want to bring up how nice the graduation and post-ceremony celebration was. Back then, UW broke its spring graduation in thirds, as well as conducting the ceremonies indoors at the then relatively brand new Kohl Center arena. Which day the grads received their diplomas depended on which program they were part of. Since Sis was part of the medical school, her group had their ceremony almost first thing on Sunday morning at 10AM.
After the 90-minute (I think) ceremony, we made our way to a nice post-graduation event Sis’ program threw for their graduates and guests. And they didn’t skimp either: I don’t remember the food that was served, but I vividly recall how beautiful the banquet hall inside Memorial Union was, not to mention the breathtaking view overlooking Lake Mendota.
I like to think that Sis looks back fondly at her time in the UW system. For sure, she’s put that education to good use, for she’s still happily in the medical profession. Sure, it hasn’t been always enjoyable for her, especially with how corporate healthcare is, but it’s still a very admirable profession.
What I personally look back on that particular weekend 20 years ago was how the atmosphere of the City of Madison impressed me subconsciously. It wasn’t my first time in Madison; I had been here a couple times for work and not personal pleasure, meaning I didn’t have the opportunity to appreciate this city. The weekend of Sis’ graduation was different and more pleasurable, however. We didn’t stray from our hotel and from the UW campus (no sightseeing excursion for us), but taking in the latter was enough to plant a seed in my mind that… you know, this town isn’t so bad at all.
To clarify, it was a great employment opportunity that would lead me to this town 3 years later. But I’m glad that Madison would be included with that employment, for this where I would spread my wings not just professionally but personally… and as Allison. Oh, sweet content.