Tradition

By Tina Michelle Cameron 

20190403_233418Little did I know when my son Corey started college in 2009 at The University of Alabama, that there was so much tradition at this school. Over the years since he graduated, I have learned to love this university more every day. As many of you know, I began school in January 2016 taking prerequisite just to apply to UAs BSN Distance Learning (online) program. Well, I did it. I graduated in 16 days!

Bama, as I and many others affectionately refer to UA, as is all about tradition, family, and friends. I am a huge college football fan, and every third Saturday in October Alabama plays the Tennessee Vols. I am from Knoxville and love UT, so we are a house divided. After a win over UT, the guys and girls in the stadium all light up cigars. This tradition started many years ago, and this is the only time lighting up is allowed in Bryant Denny Stadium.

Another wonderful tradition I found out about last year when I was accepted to UA is the class ring ceremony. I knew if I could get in and do well in the program, that upon graduation, I wanted a class ring. Every April the university holds a class ring ceremony for anyone who wants to participate. My ring ceremony was held on April 4, 2019 in a beautiful conference room in the Bryant Conference Center. There were 400 students who participated, and I was proudly the oldest! The tradition starts 24 hours before at exactly 18:31 (military time), and the ceremony starts at 18:31—this time is significant because The University of Alabama was founded in 1831.

Starting the day prior to the ceremony, the rings are delivered via police vehicle to our beloved Denny Chimes (our clock tower). It is sacred to all who love UA. It is escorted to the front of Denny Chimes by two UA Air Force ROTC members until the clock chimes at 18:30, and once that is over at 18:31, someone unlocks the door and the ROTC members escort the beautiful hand-carved wooden chest into the main floor of Denny Chimes. And for the next 24 hours, there is a police officer guarding Denny Chimes and our precious class rings. This tradition started in 2016, the year after my son graduated.

Twenty-four hours later, everyone participating in the ring ceremony and their families join the President of the university (President Bell) in the conference room and watch a live stream of the ROTC removing and escorting the chest containing the rings to a awaiting police SUV which is then driven with lights and sirens to the ceremony and escorted in. Each name is called of those students receiving their rings and they are given their ring and then cross the stage to meet and take a photo with President Bell. At the end of the ceremony, the students are then instructed to open their boxes and place their beautiful rings on their fingers. The ceremony is followed by a reception. It was a beautiful ceremony and a beautiful tradition that UA has, and I am honored that I took time to go participate in it and that my mom went with me to see it. I have wanted a four-year degree since I was 18. I am now 50 and have been a RN for 28 years, so this has been a long time coming.

Advice for all the Momma’s that have kids leaving for college

By June Headley-Greenlaw

I wanted to share some advice in this blog for all the parents that just moved their kids into college.  I feel like having taught a freshman orientation class at the University of South Carolina for 14 years and having moved two of my own children into college; I may have some insight.

Here are some things you should encourage your new college student to do:

  • Have them get to know their instructors early in the semester.
    • Go visit instructors at the beginning of the semester, don’t wait until you need them
    • Visit them during office hours and introduce yourself and let them know how important their class is to you.
    • Instructors are people too and they are teaching for a reason.  Most of them want to guide students and they enjoy getting to know them.
  • Take stock of all the resources available to students.  Most campuses offer Supplemental Instruction (SI) sessions for classes they have identified to be particularly difficult for students.  There may be free tutoring available.
  • Advise your child to make use of as many meal swipes as possible.  If they don’t have time for a meal, go get some fruit, chips, granola bars or whatever else might be offered that you can take in your book bag to class with you or back to your room for a late night snack.  You’ve already paid for it!
  • Have your student do a “schedule at a glance”.  Print out blank calendars and fill in all assignments from each syllabus so that you can see now where your trouble spots will be and prepare for them.  This is an assignment I gave to all my freshman and many of them verbally thanked me for forcing them to get it done.
  • familyRemind them often to use good judgement.  Moving away from home is tough and there are a lot of pressures in their first year.  It’s easy to get caught up in activities that they don’t realize may be detrimental to them later.  I often used the phrase in class “remember decisions you make today could affect the rest of your life”.  I meant that very literally and gave them examples.  The decision tonight to have unprotected sex could lead to an unexpected pregnancy and could change the rest of your life.

Remind yourself not to be hurt if they don’t call often.  They will be extremely busy getting acclimated, making friends, and doing all the things for themselves that you would normally do for them.  They still love you.  They are just doing their best to show you that they are all grown up!

Back to School

By: Katie Austin

It’s that time of year when summer is coming to a close, when daily routines consist of packing lunches, participating in after-school activities, and completing homework assignments.  Wasn’t it just yesterday that summer began? Where did the time go? Time flies when you are having fun, and it goes even faster as you get older.

I bet that when I mentioned school you thought I was talking about my son, Brandon, who is starting his senior year in high school. I will definitely take the opportunity to talk about him because I am so proud of all that he is accomplishing as he gets ready for his next chapter.  Actually, the student I am talking about was me! Yep – I am back in college as a part-time student at the University of South Carolina.  I can’t believe that I am once again a student who has homework assignments and tests.  I thought it was time to tackle another bucket list item – finishing my Computer Information Systems (CIS) degree.

Why go back to school? I want to finish what I started so many years ago.  I figure that if I can beat cancer, I can certainly finish my degree!  However, you don’t need cancer to motivate yourself to accomplish what is on your bucket list.  Pick one thing, make it a priority, tell yourself that you are important and that you can reach any goal you set as long as you continue to believe in yourself. Since I have a job, I can’t go back to school full-time, so I plan to take 2 or 3 classes a semester. I’ll keep chipping away at my dream of one day walking down the isle with my degree in hand. I will get there one day, and I will take it one step at a time until I reach the finish line.

This semester, I am taking 3 classes. I start my day at 5:00am, go to work, attend classes in the evenings, and get home between 8 and 9pm. One of my classes is Business Writing, which is every other Saturday starting at 9:00am and ending at 1:30pm.  I am sure many of you are thinking “Why take a class on Saturday?” For one, it is only every other Saturday and, most importantly, there are only 9 class days needed to complete the course. Despite homework, projects and the occasional quiz/test, it has been the easiest of my classes.

Are any of you back in school or taking classes outside of work?  Or are you tackling a different item from your bucket list?  Please share your story and your tips to stay motivated!

Wishing everyone a blessed day and hope to hear from you soon 🙂