Sixteen years after I took my high school graduation photo posing with a Con Law casebook, today I walked across the stage to get my JD. I’ve taken the circuitous route to get here, detouring into computer science and teaching in Vietnam, but in the end I made it to law school after all.

I sewed the suit I’m wearing in my high school photo, I’m still quite proud of it. Seventeen year old me is doing my best to look serious and grown up in my photo–I’ve even busted out the glasses that at the time I was only supposed to wear for reading, something law school turned into a full time thing after years of near perfect vision.

The graduation portrait was a graduation present from my “adopted grandpa” McCormick, who was my biggest cheerleader and was always convinced that I would end up on the Supreme Court some day. Doubt that’s going to happen, but in any case, I’m kind of sad that my circuitous path to law school meant that he didn’t make it to see this day.

And with that, all that’s left to say is that it’s great to be a Florida Gator!