Circle of Faith::back to school...

Our Back to School Circle of Faith blog theme this month was more challenging than it might have been in the past.  

I graduated from nursing school in 1972, and have only been back-to-school for continuing education courses to maintain my RN license. My husband hasn't been back-to-school since his graduation from the University of Florida (Go Gators) in 1976. I was tempted to write about my years in nursing school and working weekends in the ICU while Louis was in the Navy and at sea. Or when Louis went back to college after being discharged from the Navy, and we lived in a tiny married student apartment on campus when our 8 year old nephew came to live with us. 

I thought about writing about the 23 years of going back-to-school every fall as a family when we homeschooled our 3 youngest children through high school, By 2009, they all had graduated from homeschooling and the youngest from college this spring. I don't know how I could begin to summarize those 23 years in one post. 

I also considered writing about being a life-long learner, because honestly, isn't that the best way to live? Curious and attentive? Every day a back-to-school day. 

However, I settled on sharing a few (or more) photos of my daughter Emily's college graduation in May (because it was a great day and I never posted them here), as well as photos of the day I went back to school with her (a loose interpretation, I know) a few days before her graduation. I intended to wander about campus capturing random photos of college life while she was taking one of her final exams. I don't know what I was thinking. I'm shy about photographing random people (I'd make a terrible street photographer), but even if I'd been bolder, I'd still would have been distracted by the 800 acres of Florida's natural wetlands habitat around the FGCU (Dunk City) campus.   

(view from the parking garage looking toward the library)

These photos were taken in April, before Florida's summer wet season began. I'm confident the water levels are significantly higher today, and if I had prepared for this post earlier, I should have gone back to school and taken photos to compare.

The day before Emily's graduation (with honors, I might add), I hosted an open-house celebration for her. She asked me to not take photos. She wanted me to enjoy the moment and the many friends and family who gathered here throughout the day. 

Fortunately she did not make the same request for graduation day. 

It was a gorgeous  and cool late spring/early summer day. Our niece Sommer drove down from Winter Haven for Emily's party on Saturday and stayed overnight with us for graduation, but Mike and his family were in Gainesville for their daughter's graduation from the University of Florida the same weekend. Nick flew in from Louisiana for the day and Casey came over from West Palm, but neither one of their families were able to come with them.   

Emily in the processional waving to us in the stands...

Unfortunately, the sound system in the gym was terrible. It was nearly impossible to hear most of the speakers, so Emily's brothers, Nick and Casey, were easily distracted. When they weren't taking photos with their phones, they were acting like typical older brothers and giving Emily a hard time by constantly sending her texts.   

Emily between her friends Deborah and Ana...

Emily walking across the stage...

These photos are my contribution to The High Calling photographers' blog circle, A Circle of Faith, and the September theme Back to School. Please visit the other wonderful blogs in the circle that I've linked below -- written by some of my favorite photography friends.  

Julie at Captured Bits of Beauty

Tim at Spy Journal

Connie at Live, Love, Laugh, Hope

Marty at What Marty Sees