In an august moment begging for pretense, she was gloriously, lovingly humble. Her commencement speech's "Historical quote" sprung not from the pages of classical thought, but from Winnie the Pooh, about a lot of gratitude nestled in a small heart. She was calm and clear about who she is, who she loves and what it took to get to that moment, to climb that mountain.
To graduate and become Dr. Pat Greer, PhD.
It was a massive undertaking. She spoke of the ups and downs - few in her audience could know how the depths and heights tugged at her. Graduate study, especially doctoral candidacy, is as much about looking inward as examining external realities. It's imagining a different place, a better world, and dedicating oneself as a scholar to saying something meaningful about what might be. Then letting a lot of very smart people pick it apart. And putting it all back together again.
Winnie the Pooh. Love, devotion to friends, cheerful optimism, worldly innocence, gratitude for a life lived in the service of others. Worthy of a doctor of philosophy, a teacher, a mother, a friend. A soul mate.