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It’s graduation week coming up and Facebook will be exploding with photos of graduates drowning in ula lole. Tears will be shed, parents will swell with pride, families will yell and cheer at the graduation ceremony, and the graduates will feel embarrassed, but also grateful that they’re so enthusiastic and supportive. Isaac Newton famously said, “if I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.” According to Wikipedia, the concept of this expression can be traced to a 12th century French philosopher, Bernard of Chartres. If Samoans had written records, it could probably be traced to a time earlier than that I’m sure.
Even though my graduation seems like a little buildup because here I am, still at university, I’m excited to be with my family for the weekend—my successes are theirs too. My childhood memories in Samoa involved us being the weird kids in the village who stayed inside and read books instead of climbing trees and whatever other kids do for fun.
Mum and dad brought us up to value education as the key to our future. This seed has been watered by the teachers and lecturers who have inspired me to think in ways that I never thought of. My brother told me I should start a blog in 2010 and he was my first follower. I don’t know why he bothered to read my badly written 15-year-old posts, but six years later and I’ve grown in confidence in my writing. I have never thanked my dad for forcing me to do countless touch-typing activities when I could have been feeding my neopet. My parents wanted me to go into Medicine or do STEM subjects because they’re more financially viable. Then they supported me when I decided to do what I wanted—study English Literature. They just wanted to see me do well, to know their daughter will be okay in her future, so she doesn’t have to struggle in the ways they did, and their parents did.
So much goodness and luck in my life is because I have an army of giants whose shoulders I have the privilege of standing on. So that fancy piece of paper they’re gonna give me next week—that’s ours.