Since 1994, I have been attending graduation ceremonies of my children. Two grade school, two high school, and one college graduation later, I am on the brink of another graduation ceremony. Of course, I will cry. He is my baby, the first boy in my family of three sisters and several female grandchildren; the one I was pregnant with during my Northeast Regional Board exam; the one who, I know, will thank the Academy and George Foster Peabody in years to come. Ryan will walk across the stage at Northwestern University this month.
His goal was to graduate from a Big Ten school. As a legacy to Northwestern, he was on the executive committee of Dance Marathon, the second-largest philanthropic organization in the country. This past March, after a year of fund-raising efforts that culminated in a 30-hour Dance Marathon event, he helped raise $686,000 on behalf of pediatric AIDS. Again, we are proud of him.
Our parents were proud of us when we earned our dental degrees. During dental school, we finished a rigorous curriculum, completed requirements to take licensing boards, took practical examinations, and had many dental successes and some failures. We learned from our mistakes. They made us wiser, more competent, and more confident. This year, a new group of dentists will enter our field. Nearly 40 percent of these new graduates are women. We are proud of them and their accomplishments. To all of our new graduates, I commend you. I share your pride as well as your parents’, spouses’, and children’s pride in your accomplishments. Enjoy your new fields.
As my son walks across the stage to receive his degree, I know this will not be the last graduation. His sister will receive her master’s degree sometime this year, and Ryan will pursue a master’s degree, probably in England. Even with that knowledge, this is still an emotional time in my life. College graduation is a lofty achievement. In an age when many fields do not require a degree to guarantee success, our children’s completing degrees in four years is a feat. With all the possible distractions thrown in their paths, with all the sidetracks they are able to take, finishing in four years should be a commendation in itself. Ryan, I commend you. You have achieved many of your personal goals and have many more to go.
Every June, there will be graduations. Some are more special than others. Take each special moment and store the memory. As Tom Stoppard said, “Every exit is an entrance.”
Enjoy your new stage.
Lest we forget, happy Father’s Day to all of your dads out there. Have a wonderful, safe summer.
With warm regards,
Sheri B. Doniger, DDS
Dr. Doniger is the editor of Woman Dentist Journal.
We welcome letters to the editor. Please e-mail your letters to Dr. Doniger at [email protected]. Include your name and the city and state where you practice.