Graduation

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I applied to one college when I graduated from Claremore High School, Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. I majored in my culture. On Saturday December 15, 2012 I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Cherokee Cultural Studies. My emphasis was on language revitalization and I also minored in American Indian Studies. NSU is the only place in the continental US that one can earn a bachelors degree in a Native American language.

My core classes were all focused on the Cherokee Language. I really enjoyed the linguistic side of Cherokee and took many classes from Dr. Bradley Montgomery Anderson, or as we called him Dr. Brad. He is a linguist that works on Mayan and Cherokee. He lit a fire inside me to pursue the “underlying” Cherokee. I will really miss his classes. I spent most my time doodling in other classes things we were talking about in his. The last final I had was with him and as I left he said “See you next semester!” And I walked out his class…

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; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; “A language is a dialect with an army and a navy”

I hope that NSU will get a Masters program for Cherokee… I’ll be there.

Graduation did not really hit me until I was walking across the stage. Even now I do not feel any different. I do not feel like I have earn a bachelors degree, I just feel like me. A couple things have come to an end recently. I graduated and I gave up my title, the Cherokee Gourd Society Princess for 2011-2012. I have had so many things on my mind lately. It is a very big turning point for me. Some things in my life are ending because I chose for them to, some things are ending because they have run their course, and some things are ending with no say from me. Life goes on whether we want it to or not. For the first time in my life I will have no one to answer to. Over the years I have had to answer to many different people: my parents, family, school, princess titles, Cherokee Nation… and countless others. I have never just been Danielle, and now I get that chance.

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I had an experience at NSU, not all good, but not all bad either. I went through life’s stages. I had my first real boyfriend… I got dumped by my first real boyfriend… and believe it or not I survived the whole ordeal. And I ended up with a second family, a pretty awesome one at that! So no complaints from me. I got to work with some people who are very passionate about Cherokee. A few of them being Wyman, Harry, Hayley, Patrick, and Dr. Brad. I wrote the only modern Cherokee song in exsistance… pretty cool huh? I lost some friends… I gained some new ones. I had some really weird but good conversations with people like Josiah, Angelica, and Isaiah. I tested myself and found out what I was made of. I met some people who changed me and my world, like Sarah and Clay. These people always believed in me, even when I didn’t. They never gave up on me and helped me to conquer mountains. I grew to appreciate my family. My grandma and grandpa are the sweetest and most loving couple I have ever seen. Noah and Ally have nothing on them. I realized my Aunt Cathy is one of the coolest ladies I know, and she always had the wisdom I needed. I have been so blessed to have all my cousins, aunts, and uncles. I learned that my mom and dad will always stand beside me and support me.

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; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; Keaton and I… one awesome guy <;3

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; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; My bestfriend…

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; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; My second family…

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; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; And Sarah… no words could do her justice.

Ive been a student, a president, a teacher, a singer, a songwriter, a bicyclist, a roommate, a baker, an artist, a movie maker, a princess, an Indian, an advocate, and now I am a graduate.

I have been sad, happy, frustrated, stressed, confused, hurt, strong, weak, devious, ambitious, sweet, mean, fierce, powerful, brave, scared, and now I am Danielle… all of the above.

I started this with the intention of showing you my graduation announcement so I guess I should do that. I decided to save money and make my own. So that is coming next. First I am going to show you the announcement that I could have ordered through the schools company.

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Kind of bland if you ask me…

The next ones are the pictures of the ones that I made. I just used word and it was really easy, I am very happy with the way they turned out. The paper I got was a heavy weight and cost $8.00 at Walmart for 80 sheets. I also bought ribbon to tie it together and hold my picture inside. This pictures were taken by the wonderful Pam Rudolph. Many thanks go to her for not only the pictures but always listening to me and giving me advice. <;3 Thanks for always being there Pam.

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I wanted to put up some pictures of my graduation but I decided to do a separate post about the actual graduation so I am only going to put up this teaser. =)

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