“Hm, mmm,” said the kinda-country folk who were sitting way up front attending the first college graduation ceremony in their family.

Yup, they were there to witness this momentous occasion. The relatives had come into the city from what seemed like every small hamlet in America.. 

“That Magna Cum Laude family done themselves mighty proud,”  one member of the family clan was overheard to say as he skimmed the printed program.

But he seemed to have overlooked the Cum Laude bunch but maybe the relative sitting next to him on his right gave him a nudge and a heads up.

The young graduate, not a member of either Laude family, had done her own family proud.  She’d  made it all the way through high school which was a feat  most of her elders, including her parents, had not been able to do.

Education just hadn’t been thought of as a priority in times past. The old folk had worked the land as share-croppers and kids in the family were needed to help in the field.

It turned out to be a family tradition, not the working in the field, but the concept that putting food on the table trumped the notion of schooling.

Getting to school everyday, even in the elementary years, wasn’t important and even when teachers emphasized this, parents , and it was all of them in the entire clan, thought attendance  was pretty much a lot of nonsense.

Education, like so many things dependent on a family value system, is most  often handed down through the generations.

Parents in the entertainment industry often have children who follow in their footsteps. Chances of a young person growing up to spend time in prison or in the juvenile justice system can be predicted based upon the family’s criminal  history.

Graduating from an institution of higher learning, for some families, is akin to pie in the sky. 

So, while the overheard conversation regarding the large number of Magna Cum Laude
family members graduating seemed  something to smirk about, at first listen, the reality of the situation was something to admire. 

Magna Cum Laude, is defined quite basically as  an academic degree received with great honors – a high academic distinction.  That first family member to  walk across a platform and receive a degree from an institution of higher learning, maybe with only a grade point average of 2.0, belongs in the Laude grouping the relative was so confused about. 

Those in the know recognize Laude honors are bestowed upon  graduates having met a prescribed set of high academic standards and that this isn’t the last name for all those listed in the classification.

For the relatives who arrived  in the big city from those unheard of little hamlets across America in order to witness their family’s transition  into another form of America’s prosperity, a hearty congratulations to all of them. 

A bigger congratulations for the graduate and a special recognition for the struggles she endured and for now setting an academic example for younger ones to follow.

Graduations are true blessings. 

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