May 06, 2007

I started off my day in Montgomery, where R. and I had spent the weekend.  She had to work today, so after she took off for work, I got up and packed the car for the ride back to Bloomington.

After a pit stop at the Starbucks in Oswego (side note: I can only imagine the nightmare the tight parking lot would be on a weekday.) I was on my way with wake-up juice and a breakfast sandwich.  Two hours and about 15 podcasts later I was back in Bloomington.

One of the physics professors who could not make it to the commencement hosted a get together for the graduating seniors in CNS. He also left me his regalia so that I could participate in the ceremony. (I got to wear a Harvard hood.)

The weather was just about perfect for the ceremony. There was a thin layer of clouds early in the afternoon which was enough to block the glare of the sun, but not enough to make the sky seem completely overcast. I stood near some bio profs who had the wisdom to wear sunglasses and sunblock. Fortunately, I would not suffer for the lack of either.

Seen in the hands of faculty: reading material for the name reading part of the ceremony.

We marched in and stood in front of our seats while the graduates filed in. I was in the third row back from the front of the faculty, so my view was pretty good. By the time everyone was seated and I looked around it was pretty amazing to see the sheer number of people filling the quadrangle.  The steps of Sheean Library formed the stage. It's the most use the building gets all year.

The ceremony itself was nice, although the seats we were in were packed a little close. Three of the four speakers were really good. I'm sure the class president's speech was good for the students in the class who got all of his in-jokes. The president of the board of trustees gave a great intro which invoked Vonnegut. I heard some of my colleagues behind me saying they thought it was one of the best commencement speeches they had heard. The professor of the year talked about "casting you bread upon the water" and "it comes back buttered". And the keynote speaker told the graduates to "Question Everything".  The messages they all delivered were unique and appropriate and well received. I really enjoyed it, my personal comfort notwithstanding.

Afterward there were the traditional scones and strawberries for refreshments.  There were photos with the graduates and chatting with the families.  I was hoping to get some work on the May Term class done, but left a bit too tired to get anything accomplished.

I am glad that I was able to participate. It was fun.

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