It's not a four-year degree, and I still have to focus really hard not to strangle him or bash my head against the wall in sheer frustration sometimes, but my son found out this evening that he actually did manage to complete his associate's degree.
Even though he had filed his graduation application back in August, the fact that he actually did it came as a bit of a surprise. He has had an eventful and challenging semester on a personal level, and he fully expected to fail two classes, including one that fulfills a requirement for the degree. (Yes, I'm irked that he let things get that bad. Yes, I've told him this. Yes, he should have handled the whole thing better. Yes, that's all true. I can't waste energy stressing about that at the moment.)
What with the holidays and continuing family stressors, I haven't forced the issue of sitting down and having a conversation about the end of the fall semester. When he was here yesterday, though, I told him we needed to schedule time to sit down and check in about school and some financial issues. When he arrived, he confessed that he had been dreading logging into his account at the community college to see just how bad things were. The college shuts down access to its online system for a short period after the end of the semester to do maintenance and reset stuff. So, once he had stalled for the first few days, he had an excuse not to think about it for a little while longer. He also confessed that there were actually TWO of the three classes he needed to fulfill degree requirements that he had been in danger of flunking.
I already had in my back pocket the suggestion that, if he had flunked the one required class I knew was in jeopardy, he could take the CLEP exam to make up the credits and, I hoped, salvage his transfer to the university in the spring semester.
But it turned out to be unnecessary, because he somehow pulled out A's in two classes and a C in the one we had assumed he was probably flunking.
We then checked his unofficial transcript online, and it shows that his A.A. was awarded on December 17!
So, yeah, totally not the way I would have preferred he get to this point, but, hey, I will take it.