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Graduation Is Approaching – Not Fast Enough

This will be my 3rd family USF graduation.

It's going to be my turn, now!

University of South Florida

I’ve been going to college for the better part of 13 years now. I was accepted into the Honors Program at the University of South Florida (USF) in the Fall of 1997 with a full-ride scholarship to study pre-med/psychology. I managed to train wreck that within 2 semesters, but kept attending on a 75% scholarship for a while.

Hillsborough Community College

In 1999, I transferred to Hillsborough Community College to work an art degree. I’ve always been good at graphic design, but found that track too subjective in the grading because it was all about whether or not the professor liked the work. I sort of dropped out at that point with about 50 credit hours, but missing a lot to get my A.A.

It became pretty obvious to me that my girlfriend’s dad values higher education a lot when, one day out of the blue, he offered me a 50% scholarship to find out what classes I needed to get my A.A. – even liberal arts – and wrap that chapter up. Wow!

I think it came out to something like 6 or 8 more courses, but I had a full-time job at that point. I did it anyway, taking 2 classes at night once per week for the next year and finally got my A.A. It didn’t, however, earn me a raise at work.

A “real” job

It then became pretty obvious to me that my girlfriend’s dad thought I was in a dead-end job and sent me a link to a computer-related job at the company where he works (5,000+ people worldwide), but it was up to me to write a decent resumé to get the call and have a killer interview because this was a direct-hire position, not temp-to-perm. I got the call 2 weeks later, an interview that involved 4 department heads, and was offered a position to start the next week: August 1st, 2005.

In the end, it was a great move. I was able to become dual Master Certified in Microsoft Office Suite and pretty much became the point man for anything Word or Excel-related in the building of 500 people. After two promotions, 4 raises, and lots of weekends working on emergencies that other people created for me, I was starting to think that I’d hit the top of the ladder since no one above me was going anywhere anytime soon, so I headed back to school.

University of South Florida: Take Two

I took advantage of the company’s tuition reimbursement program. They paid 100% of fees and books and 100% of the tuition if I got an A and 60% of tuition if I got a B. It had to be career-related, so with my blank slate liberal arts degree, I chose Professional and Technical Writing, a B.A. English program. With the exception of one semester and one Summer session, I’ve taken 2, 3, 4, and even 5 courses while working full-time, both for that company, a start-up company from home, and now while running my own company.

I got straight A’s while taking 2 courses at a time at the office, straight C’s while working for the start-up (such a pain in the neck to work from home and still reporting to someone else), and straight B’s last semester with 17 credit hours.

This semester wraps it all up: 14 credit hours, including Spanish 2.

My journey will be over.

The monkey will be off my back, and I’m debating shooting it while it’s down so it can’t crawl back on and make me want to get a Master’s degree.

And the funniest thing: I think my father-in-law (oh, yeah, I ended up marrying that girlfriend) is going to be just about as excited as me, my wife, and my parents.


  1. We are very much looking forward to being with you on Graduation Day!!

  2. I think your father-in-law will be pretty excited, but I doubt if anyone (with the possible exception of you & Beautiful) is more excited than your mom & me. Congratulations. You just keep on doing stuff to make me proud of you.