Yep, you guessed it. It’s Ashley writing Chapter 7 of What a Thing. As you may know, we have a degree celebration coming up next week on Thursday, August 23 at 6:30 p.m. at the Central site. Of course, the anticipation of this celebration started me to thinking.

Remember when you were a kid, and everything you did – every poem, every painting from art class, every ribbon from little league –  merited display or celebration? Perhaps that’s something you do with your own child.

The February 2017 Degree Celebration

I can remember when my cousin, who’s now a twentysomething with a son of her own, gave my mom some sort of art made out of wire a hanger with a white cloth glued to the hanger’s bottom. The white cloth was decorated with pics of her making said art with glitter glue accents. Let’s just say it wasn’t cute. My mom legit hung that on our wall. On the wall, y’all. And it stayed there until we moved. Every time my cousin came to visit, she’d look at it and she’d smile. I think it made her happy that something she made in school was there for every visitor to see.

Adriana, Holly, and Gene

I’m not sure why we stop celebrating the small things once we become adults. About twenty years ago (whoa that was a hard phrase to write), I wrote two poems in one of the first of many literature classes in undergrad. My literature professor, who later became my mentor, posted one on her door and the other on her bookshelf. Every time I go to her office, I look for my poems, and my poems still remain posted.  If they were gone, I might lose my mind. I say this statement as a grown woman who has had her own students. Y’all if I go to her office and my poems are gone, watch me curl up into a little ball and cry. I know my poems aren’t the best poems, but the fact that I was able to compose a poem using a particular form was worth celebrating to my professor. That small celebration of my poems fueled me to continue writing and eventually teach others to write and express themselves. 

One of the things I love about the culture here at PelotonU is that we celebrate all things, small and large. In the end, we know that celebrating those small things – I think Erika W. might call this micro-celebrating – leads to the big celebration.

South Site Turns One Year Old!

Think about it. It is the small steps that led to our next degree celebration.

Getting information about PelotonU. Signing up and attending that pre-enrollment meeting. Attending Orientation. Going through and completing AO! Even those not-yets and the eventual mastery are worth celebrating.  

And you read that right – I said celebrate the not-yets, too.

Sylvia Plath, one of my favorite writers, once wrote, “I love my rejection slips. They show me I try.” I encourage you to see your not-yets that way.

Started from AO and now you’re here. Check out the list of achievements from the last month.

Ashley C earned her associate’s degree. Virginia G earned her associate’s degree – and she’s the youngest in PelotonU history to do so! John V and Bethany S earned their associate’s degrees. And there are folks who take the summer off!

Karen C is sprinting to the finish line for her associate’s degree – and earned her associate’s degree over the weekend.

Denise killing it!

Susan G is chasing the last 3 competencies for her bachelor’s degree. Sheila M hit the 50% mark in her Bachelor’s. Juan G, Toni G, Jorge G, and Julia E all hit the halfway point in their AA.

Bethany F mastered 30 competencies. Kat M has mastered two projects in a row on the first try! Miriam – who just started in college on August 1st – mastered her first two projects on her first submit. Dakota mastered his Accounting goal in the Bachelor’s after a string of not yets; he stuck with it, learned the comment, and now says that Accounting has become his favorite class to date.

Denise B. kept up her awesome momentum while attending a work conference! #rockstar Gene earned the “WGU Mark of Excellence” for his work at WGU.  WGU bestows this honor upon students who complete a Fast Start, complete two courses before the 120th day of the term, make On-Time Progress and Accelerate. Excellence ain’t easy, y’all! Plus, he’s completed 64 credits! Just 56 left!

PelotonU’s South site celebrated its one year anniversary, and Robert celebrated his one year workiversary!

And finally a little something to warm your hearts.

It’s about a wee one with a strong name – Augustus. Augustus is the son of Zac, a friend of SSF’s who actively supports PelotonU through the Advocates Club. Zac is a first-generation college graduate. Inspired by Zac, Zac’s dad returned to college while Zac was in college. Now Zac’s dad has a Phd in neuroscience. Okay! I see you, Zac’s dad! How does all this impact lil’ Augustus? He will grow up in a family with advanced degrees, which means opportunity.

Pretty cool, huh? It all started with Zac doing this hard thing called earning a college degree. 

What a thing.

Until the next time.

Cheering for you,

Ashley + the PelotonU Team