What I Did Saturday
Survived Dad's driving on the scenic route he'd chosen
Got a bit lost because Dad insisted on parking in a lot other than the one the directions said (that was free), and I had trouble finding my school building
Had brunch (O.K., coffee--was feeling nervous) with my family and many other graduates and their families on the front lawn of the school building
Narrowly avoided my former academic advisor (who of course was there to hellllllp. . .)
Introduced myself to a couple of online classmates whose names I recognized as we put our robes on together
Greeted my buddy when she arrived, and helped her with her robe
Stood outside with her as she drank her coffee, waiting to line up
Lined up, then went back inside as it started to pour
Lined up and processed over to the ceremonies for real
Sat through some speeches--most memorable was the speaker who received an honorary doctorate but had to keep hoisting his hood back up as he was talking because it kept creeping down his shoulders as the result of having been put on upside-down. (Made me think of errant bra straps.)
After waiting out the confusion as some classmates (newly minted information professionals, mind you!!!) managed to screw up filing out of our seats, walked onstage, shook hands, got some swag, and smiled pretty for the camera at the end of the stage (incidentally, I expected the professional pics to be the worst and they are AWESOME. I didn't blink or squint. That just might be a real smile on my face. I even have that "invisible wind machine" thing going with the tassel. I need to sell some plasma to buy a package of those photos.)
Sat through the awarding of the bachelor's degrees and dodged the giant beach ball.
Moved my tassel from right to left (although apparently they let me walk in with mine on the right already and it wasn't until after I looked around I realized and made a quick switch).
DONE WITH SCHOOL!!! YAY!!!
The ceremony started late and ran long. We were pretty much grungy, sweaty messes by the end from the humidity. I was very happy to have my buddy next to me the whole time--as we had been since we'd met at our very first class. We traded commentary, she picked on the odd classmate in front of us who seemed to be listening to a ballgame the whole time (and with several other classmates left before the ceremony ended--they missed moving their tassels).
I'll spare you the details of how we got lost--again--trying to find the reception for the online students. (Made the mistake of asking someone while wearing my robes--"You're a graduate!" I thew up my hands--I was an online student!) I was in sore need of some rehydration and happily there was ice cold lemonade at the reception, where we hung out for a bit and regrouped. Younger Sister's quote of the day as afterwards we went up a block in order to loop around to get over to the obscure parking lot: "Well, this completes our day of walking around in circles."
As we were crossing the busy street to get to the aforementioned obscure parking lot, some woman stopped at the light put down her car window to call out, "Is graduation today?" I wonder what tipped her off. "Yes!" I called back with smile as I reached the corner. "Congratulations!" she yelled.
Too little time to do a late lunch before my dad had to do this job he accepted (I know, I was incredibly annoyed with him at first and then starving later but it was a favor to a longtime family friend and worked out in the end). Dinner afterwards was worth the wait. It was delicious and I think just finally making it there, and sitting with my family, put me back in the mood I'd had when I'd been walking on the stage. And maybe that really good house merlot and the singer who started doing Sinatra standards by the time we were on coffee and dessert had a little something to do with it, too.
At one point during the ceremony, my buddy leaned over (she's statuesque) and asked, "See you back here for our Ph.D.'s?"
I said I'd think about it. For now, I just wanted to enjoy this achievement.
It was too dark indoors for my dinky digital camera to take any decent pictures, and at one point we were trying to teach my mom how to use it so we'd have a picture of Younger Sister and me together (they're all pretty bad but it's not her fault we took turns blinking). . . she must've accidentally taken a crooked, candid one of me at some point. . . so I did a little work with it on Picnik.
It was a crazy, strange, surreal, awesome day.