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Gratitude…20 years later.

In what feels like an eternity or simply a 22-minute Seinfeld episode later, our high school class reached its 20-year reunion this summer. 2003 to 23, where did it go? From the outset of schooling at Monticello High, I knew something was special about that place. The heft of pulling the front door open on Cave Street and walking up those steep, creaky steps to a front office that welcomed all weary travelers was unlike any other. I never properly thanked the wizards who taught us in southern Kentucky. [You all deserve gold medals for putting up with us!] Now, I’ve submitted my final assignments for a doctoral path and defended this week, and I realize how much it all connects. I’m thankful for everyone who signed a BookIt slip granting free pizza or badgered me into working for extra credit.

My dad finished his GED on the cusp of me turning 5, and I still remember him holding the yellow legal pad and working out math problems at night with bags under his eyes. I can still see Mom picking me up from after-school care and toting me to some sport and cheering from the bleachers with her whole heart.

Fast forward to now, and I’ve seen my wife reading over my pitiful first drafts and telling me it’s not quite right. And today, just one week away from our daughter’s 5th birthday, I’ve finished my doctorate. I hope this provides an example she can be proud of, and I am blessed by all who said don’t let off the gas, Buster.

I’ll probably always be a nerd, but now it’s official. Hooray!