This was the message that greeted me when I finished my Comprehensive Exams for my Master’s Degree program yesterday. My daughter was more nervous than me when I talked to her after the test. She sent me some really nice text messages earlier, before my long and arduous process of exams began.  Man, she really was not raised by wolves! For the majority of my life, I have been able to grow and learn because of her. And on the day when I felt like my whole world was spinning out of control, I was greeted with a blast of love from my one-and-only child. It really makes you feel good as a parent to think you raised someone who is loving, caring, and just plain nice. So it was on my worse day, I got a present!

After the ordeal, we went to dinner and she listened while I recounted the entire day and how I think I did on my exams. Nothing really prepares you for the idea of comprehensive exams. I had to take them when I was much younger, when I was getting my bachelor’s degree from Xavier University in New Orleans in 1989.  I had to face them again Sunday.  I have been preparing for weeks, but really, in life you can never really be fully prepared for an exam that is comprehensive of everything you learned in getting an advanced degree. The fact is that the things I have learned are really helping me in my everyday life. Organizational communication is the process of creating, exchanging, interpreting, and sorting messages within a system of human relationships!  (I should get extra points on my exam for writing this).

Communication is the most powerful tool we have in the world. It helps us to understand those in our lives, and to express our feelings as we relate to our environment, and those around us. Messages are not always clear, as my boyfriend would love to tell you! He thinks it is hysterical that I am getting a degree in communication, and I have a horrible time communicating with him. I want him to know that just because I am learning it does not mean it is easy to do. Just when you think you have gotten your point across, someone says something and it completely changes the complexity of what you meant. Messages, meaning, communication are part of an active process and people must work on it every day in order to understand and be understood.

I used to second guess myself and wonder if I had been the best example I could have been for my daughter. I think I could have been a much better mother to her, and given her the best possible chance for success. I have not always given her wings to be brave and pursue her dreams, but I hope she knows that in life we communicate our fears, our passion, and our focus by the choices we make. I am just glad she is young enough to be optimistic about her future. I know that my life will never be the same because she is in it. She enriches me every day and makes me proud to be her mother. I hope every parent has those days when you know you raised your children right. Lord knows you have enough of those other days, when you wonder what did I do wrong!

Thanks Amber for making my bad day, the best, and thanks for always being such a wonderful influence in my life. You really did raise me right.

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