College Graduation, 2010

June 17, 2010

Sasha and Nena

Sasha and Nena

Last weekend was special. My daughter Nena and nephew Sasha graduated from college. Together.

Born three weeks apart (Nena is older!) with very different personalities and approaches to life, these two cousins grew up in devoted families in the same town. They were in many ways closer than siblings, not having that sibling rivalry to contend with.

When they were toddlers, we called them rug rats or twins.

Both flourished during the four years at the small liberal arts college they attended. They shared friends, professors, and classes. But as they grew and changed, they learned to argue and criticize each other. They also gave each other space as they made inroads into their own interests and fields of study.

Nena’s style is to dig deeply within herself as well as research and learn all she can about a topic. She is introvert, artistic and contemplative.

Sasha casts his net wide and gathers information from the people and the environment around him. He is gregarious, extrovert, willing and interested in engaging anyone in a conversation on any issue.

Nena is a talented poet who majored in philosophy and worked as a teaching assistant for all four years. Sasha majored in English literature, but his main interests are social justice and civil rights law. He worked with juvenile offenders, Mexican immigrants and community organizers.

As I kneeled by the stage, waiting to take pictures of my two college graduates, this is what I heard. The college president called the name Alexander Holtzman, then Natalia Holtzman, and from their family, classmates and professors erupted a wild roar of applause.

And while my little rug rats, Sasha and Nena, entered one side of the stage, out the other side came a tall, strapping young man and a beautiful, poised young woman.

These two cousins – a gift to the world!

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Dave Harrison June 17, 2010 at 8:51 am

You truely are blessed.


Liliana June 17, 2010 at 8:55 am

You are right, Dave. My children are my blessings.


Jelena June 17, 2010 at 8:07 am

Congratulations to them! And best of luck in their next steps and always! But then they’ve already had the greatest bit of luck–to come from a loving family.


Liliana June 17, 2010 at 8:19 am

And the fortune to have the most wonderful of friends! The graduates are greatly looking forward to going out to dinner with you tonight. Love and hugs.


ann mulhern June 17, 2010 at 7:46 am

Dearest Liljana,
Congratulation to you, proud mother and aunt! A beautiful photo and a beautiful family.


Liliana June 17, 2010 at 7:51 am

Thank you, sweet friend!
No one is more proud than I – except maybe deda. He was so worked up, you’d think he graduated! Hugs to you.


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