Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Book Club: Commencement, Part One

When this book was selected for our next read at http://bookendbloggers.blogspot.com/ I thought it would be a puff piece. From the description I thought it would be just a quick and easy read without to much depth. After finishing Part One I was convinced that there was a lot more to these girls and so much in their lives I could identify with.

Here are this week's questions:

1. Which girl do you identify the most with?
I think I identify with Celia the most. She ended up at Smith almost by default. I kinda chose Penn State for what it wasn't more than what it was. It wasn't too close to home, it wasn't where half my graduating class was going, and it wasn't anywhere anyone in my family had already been. I was excited to be going to college, but sad to leave my high school years behind. I had a great group of friends that was scattering across the East Coast. I was shy, but eager to meet the girls would I would be living with for the next four years.

2. If you're a college student or graduate, what similarities or differences do you see between this story to your own college experience?
I feel like my freshman year college experience was very similar to this. I bonded with the girls on my floor and made friends that would last my whole college career. We ate together, we studied together, we worked out together, and we partied together. Penn State is a HUGE school, so immediately bonding with these girls helped create our small niche and made it a little bit smaller and a little bit more like home.

3. Which girl do you think has changed the most since her time in college? In what ways has she changed?
I think that Sally has changed the most. She was so bent and determined to be a doctor and is now a lab assistant at Harvard with her priority now being her fiance'. I think a lot of people have hopes and dreams of what their life will be and where they believe they will end up. I think a lot of that is naive to think you can plan your entire life at 18. So often with a little world experience, your values change and your priorities shift.

When I was in high school and starting college I thought I would be working in politics, working on Capital Hill or for a lobbyist. Once I graduated and entered the real world I realized that a staffer job on Capital Hill probably wouldn't pay my bills, Law School wasn't happening and there needed to be a change in plans.  I jumped right into Corporate America to bide my time. Now I'm married with two dogs and my family is my priority.  I now dream about what to make for dinner and keeping a neat and tidy house instead of a career that would take over my entire life.


  1. I want to join the book club! When's the next session start? :)

  2. Silly me! I should have reference the book club! It is at http://bookendbloggers.blogspot.com.

  3. I'm so glad that you are in the book club! I have noticed some of the same things myself about my life. I dreamed of living in a big city, wearing a suit to work every day, etc. Now I live in the country and drive all over Ohio! Not exactly my dream plan. Funny how life works out, isn't it? :)

  4. Great points. I think you're right about Sally's life changing. I think we have all these ideas about life at 18 when we leave for college, but here I am now at 26 and my life is quite different. I am happy, very happy, but life doesn't always do what we expect.

  5. I am reading too! I am a new follower as well!

  6. I had that same experience of dreaming big but then realizing that's not what would make me happy. I wanted to get a Ph.D. in rhetoric and be a professor, but after a got my first post-master's "corporate" job, I realized that if I did get a Ph.D., my first teaching job would pay less than what I was making at the time. And then I met my now-husband, acquired a dog, and got another dog. I'm happy now focusing on our little family and working (at Penn State!).