Well, it’s been real, Tulane, BUT I can’t say I will ever miss walking into Tidewater.
On Saturday, May 18, I finally received my Master in Public Health (MPH) from Tulane University School of Public Health & Tropical Medicine. I giddily realized that I now get to add those three little letters behind my name while making and ordering new business cards.
Both ceremonies were great! During the Unified Ceremony I had the privilege of having the 14th Dalai Lama deliver a very inspiring commencement address, got a mini concert from Allen Toussaint and Dr. John (who were both receiving honorary degrees), as well as a performance by Topsy Chapman and Dr. White’s Jazz Band who sang “Do you know what it means to miss New Orleans.” New Orleans, I will definitely miss, Tulane…not so much. But the people I’ve met and opportunities I’ve had will definitely be missed and cherished.
I think the highlight of the Unified ceremony was watching the Dalai Lama with the Second Line Umbrella that was made for him that had the words ‘world peace,’ ‘compassion,’ and something else written across it in red and gold glitter. He did a little dance with our President. He was so personable and hilarious throughout the entire ceremony. The unified ceremony ended with some pyrotechnics, some booms, some glitter sprays and streamer eruptions while the band started a little second line. Then during the diploma ceremony, we were led in by a brass band, we got a 3-song performance by Mia Borders instead of having a speaker, and we were walked out again by the brass band in a mini second line (although it was kind of a busted second line).
Throughout the day I received TWO Tulane second-line handkerchiefs, some commencement mardi gras beads, but most importantly–I finally got that diploma in hand. I’d have to say, all in all, my commencement exercises for Tulane blew Oberlin’s out of the water–but it’s kind of hard to beat out the Dalai Lama and hours of free music by amazing performers.
I’m trying to set aside my cynicism about receiving a $100,000 piece of paper that still doesn’t give me most of the qualifications for jobs in my field, but it’s a tad bit difficult. So to offset that feeling I’m going to do a little bit of traveling while I write cover letters until my head spins.
Therefore, let the unemployment games begin!
Jessica Judson, MPH
[just had to throw that in there 😀 ]