Tuesday, May 14, 2013

My Son The J.D.






No he is not a juvenile delinquent. Our son is a Juris Doctor, and we just came back from his law school graduation. Since he had some extra time off before graduation, we decided to take a road trip to Asheville, North Carolina. We toured the Biltmore Estate that George Vanderbilt built for his mother  in 1895. It reminded us of an American version of the castle on Downton Abbey. Each room was more magnificent than the next, and every detail was covered in opulence. While most homes at the time didn't even have electricity, he had a working elevator, and a lighted indoor pool. The Vanderbilt's also gave back to the community, and his wife Edith started a school to train African American women as skilled maids in the early 1900's.


The Biltmore Estate
                                                         

The next day we went hiking in a forest preserve in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Panic set in, when we passed a gas station sign warning that they had the only public restrooms for eight miles. That was more frightening to me than climbing up a thousand feet. My husband and son were looking forward to seeing wildlife. The advertisements sighted everything from bears to white tailed squirrels. As I was walking, I discovered an unusual tubular shaped worm. I called them over to see it. Our son noticed that the creature had several legs, and they both were fascinated by this odd looking centipede. I suggested that they take a photo, as this would be the only wildlife we would find on the trail. They just laughed, but they should have snapped that picture. The trail did have several views of  two amazing waterfalls. We  met a couple who raved about another beautiful park with spectacular views. When we finally found it hours later, we were surprised to find flying turkeys.

Back at the campus, our son gave us a great tour of the trophy room, and the beautiful wooded surroundings in Durham. We also saw his house and met some of his roommates for the first time. After dinner we went to have an early celebration with some of his friends and their parents. Everyone was friendly and excited for the graduation. We were surprised to find out that our son is the only one out of his friends who will be returning home to work. The other moms were disappointed that their boys found jobs out of state. This made us appreciate how lucky we were. It seemed like just yesterday when he liked to keep his social life private from us, and now he was eagerly introducing us to everyone he knew, and included us in all of the festivities.

It poured on the way to the graduation ceremony, but fortunately it was held inside the basketball stadium. Sadly, one of their classmates was killed in a car accident in March, and the students led a  standing ovation when his name was called. The whole experience was very emotional. We felt terrible that our younger son couldn't be there, as he was studying for college finals, and we knew how badly my mom wanted to come. The trip would have been too difficult for her, and my brother wanted to stay close by in case my mom needed him.

We were all so proud of what our son has accomplished. He earned an undergraduate degree in engineering, and will be working as a patent attorney. He insisted on doing everything on his own without taking special classes for the LSAT or tutors. There was only one time that I remember our son complaining when he was studying for the law school admission test (LSAT). As math was always his strength, he was frustrated while working on multiple choice questions. Though I've never tested well, I asked him to give me three sample questions. From years of watching lawyers on TV, I knew that the object was to trick us. Since the stakes were high, I literally willed myself to get the answers right. That was the last time my boy complained about law school.










Note: We will be leaving for a family vacation at the end of the week. I look forward to catching up with everyone when we return next month.


48 comments:

  1. How proud you must be of your son. Congratulations to him.
    When I was in the US two years ago we went to Rhode Island and there was a large house belonging to the Vanderbilts..
    What a wonderful time you have had. great post and thanks for sharing.
    Yvonne.

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  2. Congratulations on raising such a fine young man, proud mama. :)

    And I've always wanted to see that Biltmore Estate in Asheville. One of these days...

    Enjoy your vacation!

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  3. Yvonne - The house in Rhode Island must have been beautiful! We are very proud. Thank you Yvonne!

    Luanne - You probably saw the castle from Downton Abbey when you were in England. We're very excited for him. Thanks Luanne!

    Julie

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  4. Absolutely marvelous, still can't believe he has graduated, you and hubby are beaming! I have been to the house, many moons ago, ate at restaurant, grand! Hugs my dear.

    Lampchop

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  5. Congratulations to your boy and your family. What a fantastic accomplishment. Did you ever find out about the odd worm?

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  6. Dear Julie,

    That is awesome. Your pride for you son's accomplishment is so clear in your photos and in the words you have written. A glowing posting with a twinge of sadness for that one student.

    All the very best in the future for your son and the journey ahead looks so very bright.

    In kindness,

    Gary

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  7. Lynn - The estate was beautiful, and the restaurant we ate it was surprisingly good too. Thank you Lambchop, and many hugs my dear friend!

    Rhonda - It was a centipede. I preferred it to the bears they were hoping to see! Thanks Rhonda!

    Gary - It was very sad, as he had his whole life ahead of him. We're so happy for our son, and once he moves out he'll only be living about thirty minutes away! Thanks so much Gary!

    Julie

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  8. That is very nice. You must be proud...well... I know you are.

    Hugs and chocolate,
    Shelly

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  9. YOu have a beautiful family and a very bright and handsome son.

    I've been up to that area but didn't visit the estate....you know us we went to the brewery and a concert!!

    Best wishes to the graduate what a wonderful accomplishment. You and hubby must be proud! Have a nice vacation!

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  10. Congratulations to your son and to yourself ..... enjoy your holiday.

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  11. It is a wonderful moment in a parents life when a child earns their college degree, but having earned his BS in Engineering and now Law, well, you must just be bursting with pride. Congratulations to the whole family because, as we know, it takes not only a determined person, but parents who stand behind and encourage their child to succeed. Well done!

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  12. Your trip to Asheville sounds wonderful and the Biltmore seems luxurious, really makes me want to visit.
    I love reading all your posts- so entertaining and interesting! It's very recognizable how proud you are of your son through your writing, as you should be- you've raised a wonderful young man! Congratulations!

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  13. Congrats to your son. And isn't NC beautiful? I like calling NC home.

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    1. Thank you Jeff, and NC is beautiful! Most of my son's friends will be preparing for the bar exam there, because they don't want to leave!

      Julie

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  14. Thanks so much Shelly!

    Jen - The brewery and the concert sound like fun to me! Thanks for everything Jen!

    Thank you Delores and we will!

    Arleen - I really appreciate your kind words. Now I'm starting to tear up. We're thrilled how all his hard work paid off. Thanks for making my day Arleen!

    Mitra - One of the highlights of our trip was meeting you. I wanted to write about it, but couldn't fit it in. Congratulations on your college graduation, and I heard that the medical schools are fighting over you! Thank you so much, and good luck with everything Mitra!

    Julie


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  15. Congratulations! You and your hubby must be very proud. Grrrrrreat pictures.

    I hope you have a fantabulous trip. (Maybe take a picture of that waterfall?)

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    1. Susan - I'm still laughing that you were the one who told us about the waterfall in the airport when my husband's family lives there! I'll try to remember to take a picture for you. Thanks a million Susan!

      Julie

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  16. Congratulations to your son! That is quite an accomplishment.
    And glad you got to explore our area of the world.
    Enjoy your vacation!

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  17. You have a huge son. Congratulations to him for graduating and to you for being his proud mom. My best to you!

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  18. That area is full of fun things to explore. I'm glad you had the chance to do it as a family. :-)

    Congratulations to the parents that encouraged and the son who accomplished.

    Have a great time on vacation!

    Sia McKye OVER COFFEE

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  19. Julie: Congrats to your son, and to you! Believe me, I know the drill. By the way, Patent Law is where it's at.

    Asheville, NC was where we were headed before moving from New Hampshire, but our plans changed. It is beautiful, and the Biltmore is magnificent. Enjoy your trip!

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  20. Hi, Julie. CONGRATS to your son. Have a great family vacation.
    : )

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  21. Congrats all the way around!
    Enjoy your vacation!

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  23. Alex - We kept hoping we would run into that Ninja in Tammy's pictures! Thank you Alex!

    Al - He's six feet tall, and I think I'm shrinking! Thanks Al!

    Sia - We really enjoyed our time in NC! The funny thing is that he keeps encouraging me! Thank you Sia!

    JJ - We're very fortunate that he chose patent law, and that he'll be close to home! Thanks so much JJ!

    Thank you Susanne! It will be nice, because our boys will visit family that they haven't seen in years!

    Carol - We're looking forward to it! I really appreciate it Carol!

    Julie

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  24. Thank you for a lovely, uplifting post.

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    1. That is so nice of you to say Carole!

      Julie

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  25. A massive congratulations to your son and to you both as parents. Job well done I say. Life is truly up to him now and I hope he enjoys the ride all the way. I'm sure you were both so proud as you met his friends and their families and watched him graduate, and my heart goes out to the family who lost their child along the way. How sad that must have been for them.

    Anyway, have a great enjoyable family vacation and I'll pop round again soon. :)

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  26. This is wonderful, Julie!! Congratulations to your son, I can imagine how proud you and your husband must be. The pics are all so lovely to see.
    Have a great time on your vacation!! :)

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  27. Proud moment for all. Congratulations!!!

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  28. Congratulations on your son's achievement. You sure had a nice little vacation. I've yet to visit Biltmore, but would love to. Last time my wife and I were near there it was Christmas and we strongly considered going, but we were on a mission to pick up a van and figured we didn't have the time.

    Lee
    A Faraway View

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  29. Congratulations, you surely had a wonderful day. Good for your son! Graduating from law school makes life seem better or easier. It makes things busier.

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  30. I feel your pride, Julie. This is wonderful. I hope you thoroughly enjoy a relaxing, loving family vacation. MAZEL TOV!!

    xoRobyn

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  31. Rum-Punch Drunk - I couldn't agree with you more. Our hearts also went out to the young man, and his family. Thanks so much for your kind words and good wishes!

    Thanks for everything Julie!

    Thank you Sharon!

    Lee - Maybe you'll be able to go there sometime when you're visiting your family, I don't think it's too far from Tennessee. Thank you Lee!

    Yvonne- Yes, it was a great day, and he definitely will be busier! Thanks Yvonne!

    Robyn - It will be one of our last opportunities for a long time, as our son will be starting work in the fall. Thank you so much Robyn!

    Julie




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  32. Replies
    1. Rosalind - We are very proud! Thanks Rosalind!

      Julie

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  33. Julie, you are too funny! I laughed at the opening lines about J.D...
    But you must be so proud of your son. What a wonderful achievement!
    And you're going on vacation too! That's a double-whammy, almost like a two-for-the-price-of-one kind of deal!
    Enjoy! We'll catch up when you return!

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  34. Congratulations to your son. What a wonderful trip even if there was a little sadness included. Xx

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  35. Congratulations, mama! I'm glad you will have your son near you when he settles down at his job.

    How cool is it that you got to see the American version of Downton Abbey. I love that show.

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  36. Oh Congratulations! You must be so proud and you have every right to be!
    Nutschell
    www.thewritingnut.com

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  37. Congrats on your son's great achievement!
    I so loved your A-Z posts, that I'm giving you the Sunshine Award. Please stop by my blog and get it.

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  39. Congrats to your son! Hope you enjoy your family vacation. :-)

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  40. Great place to vacation! Thanks for joining my blog, heh heh.

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  41. Hi julie! Just dropping by to say hello.
    Nutschell
    www.thewritingnut.com

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