(My tasseled hat, which came with the honorary degree.) Your determination will make a straighter path for your children. I know that to be absolutely true. Because, abbreviated though it was, the journalism program gave me the skills that made me a reporter; and from there, an anchorwoman; and from there, a network news correspondent. They were all building blocks. Standing on the podium at Eastern Washington University, I felt the blocks had finally come full circle. There I was at a college commencement, receiving a degree in honor of my life work and at last I was able to exhale that old regret about leaving grad school early. It was okay. The sliver pulled out, I stood tall and said, “Thank you.”
NOTE: A member of the Nez Perce Tribe, Hattie Kauffman is the first Native American to ever report on a national network broadcast. Her memoir, Falling Into Place, is being released in September.