Commencing with Hope

Almost four years ago, I wrote a post with the title “Anchored in Hope,” about our older son beginning his education at Hope College. Today we were privileged to attend Commencement ceremonies as Zach and several hundred other students finished the journey they started four years ago – and commence a new journey.

Technically, he hasn’t quite finished the journey. He has one more week of student teaching to complete, because of the week he spent on choir tour during the college’s spring break (which did not coincide with the spring break of the school where he is student teaching).

But today was the big day, and I found myself getting choked up a couple of times, especially during the processional at the baccalaureate service and again at the commencement exercises. I’m not sure if it’s remembering my own graduation experiences, thinking of how I once hoped to become a college professor and see students I had taught graduate, or just the idea of graduation in general.

It’s an exciting time for these young people. Based on my own experience, I’m guessing many of them will end up going places they never dreamed of – while not getting to some of the places they did dream of. But wherever they go, they carry with them the lessons learned at Hope College, and the knowledge that their hope is not primarily in that institution but in the God who is at the heart of the educational process there.

Zach starting college in 2010

Zach starting college in 2010

Zach graduates 2014

Zach graduates 2014


3 Responses to Commencing with Hope

  1. Karen O says:

    Congratulations to Zach! What is his next step? What does he want to do for a career?

    • Pauline says:

      He wants to be a high school choir director. He is able to teach both vocal and instrumental music for K-12. He did his student teaching in a middle school and I’m sure he’ll consider that age group as well though his preference is high school.
      He worked in a factory during the summer the past four years, and did retail this past year during the fall semester. He does not want to work in a factory this summer, largely because of the schedule. With retail he thinks he will have more flexibility when it comes to planning job interviews at schools.

  2. Karen O says:

    I’m sure you’ll be happy to have him home for a while. Enjoy your time with both your sons together again.

    I don’t know if you’re still following Wandering Views, where I’ve mentioned that my Chrissy has moved out. After ten months of waiting, our upstairs tenants are finally gone, & the girls & Forrest can move upstairs, which was going to be such a blessing for all of us. Unfortunately, Chrissy decided to move with the tenants into their new place (they are old friends, & Chrissy is very close with the daughters). Very sad for me & her dad.

    Speaking of that other family, their older daughter, now 26, graduated from college with a degree in psychology four years ago. She has yet to find a job. I think the problem is that she thinks her degree makes her too good to take “just any job”. I’ve mentioned a couple jobs that were available, & that she has previous experience in, but she didn’t even bother applying. Meanwhile, her parents struggle financially.

    My advice to Zach would be to take whatever job he can while he looks & strives for the career of his choice. As I told my friend in regards to her daughter, employers do not want to see large gaps in employment history.

    Here’s an article you may have seen going around Facebook, that Zach may find helpful…

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