Friday, June 12, 2015

She was Surprised and I was Relieved.


Mary-Elizabeth Sierra Lanham Named to Dean's List at Gonzaga University

SPOKANE, WA (6/12/2015)—Mary-Elizabeth Sierra Lanham, a resident of Lynnwood, WA has earned placement on the Gonzaga University Dean's List for Spring semester 2015. Students must earn a 3.5 to 3.69 grade-point average to be listed.
Gonzaga University is a humanistic, private Catholic University providing a Jesuit education to more than 7,500 students. Situated along the Spokane River near downtown Spokane, Wash., Gonzaga is routinely recognized among the West’s best comprehensive regional universities. Gonzaga offers 75 fields of study, 25 master’s degrees, a doctorate in leadership studies, and a Juris Doctor degree through its School of Law.

Among her circle of friends, this is not such a huge thing.  It is something that kids do on a pretty regular basis.  She has always been a good student and sometimes even amazing.  But it is not easy and it is something she works so hard at doing. 

Every grade, every point, every single test and quiz and report is the result of hours of study and preparation.  Radiation and Methotrexate into her spinal fluid have robbed her of many things we take for granted.  She can't memorize.  She can't keep something in her short term memory if her life depended on it.  All those people that memorize, drop the info on the page and then forget have a skill she no longer possesses.  She has to do an extended solitary process of making sure she understands and learns the material.  

She does not believe she made the Deans list and even argued with the Registrar about the posting.  

I have watched her spend every bit of her energy on being a good student.  Lots of her fun time in life was spent in the hospital and then studying or getting ready to study.  

I think back to the first time I saw the 12 inch lead door closed her into the Radiation Suite.  I knew the damaging radiation was destroying more than elusive cancer cells.  I have come to appreciate how much was destroyed.  I think it is going to be okay.  It just made the hill higher, slicker, rockier, and more difficult.   

It didn't make it impossible. 

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