Thursday was UMBC’s graduation, and rather than wait in traffic to find a parking spot with increasingly grumpyproud parents, I stuffed my tam in my bag and rode my bike the 20 minutes down the hill, locked up precariously to a fence right outside the side door to the arena because that’s what the security guard told me to do, and headed inside to eat all the buffet lunches with my fellow faculty members. A. brought my sorcerer robes with her on the Circulator, and by the time she figured out how to get into the place, she was one angry pregnant lady with her eye on the food tables–she’s eating for two, so don’t fuck with her. Continue reading
Thursday’s ride was a short one, just down the hill to the Mariner Center for UMBC’s undergraduate graduation ceremony. I know a lot of folks who find these ceremonies long and boring after awhile, and though I need to learn to smuggle in water and extra snacks under my gown, I still love a good graduation–pomp, circumstance, costumes, floppy hats, shiny faces, extended and even more extended families, reminders that The Children Are Our Future, and then, of course, the endless list of names. For individual graduates, though, it’s always the very first time, and I still get excited to celebrate, especially for the students I’ve had in classes or as advisees. Continue reading
I’ve said it before, and I’m going to say it again, but this time in brief: I love me some pomp and circumstance. I got on my bike this morning, swapped the SPDs for some wedge heels, and went to Dixon Hall to sit in the balcony and whoooooo for my dear friend R., who picked up a Master of the Arts in Latin American Studies today. It was awesome. And then there was food and champagne, and then a lunch and another ceremony, and hugs and pictures and more of those “chicken” “quesadillas” and another fruit tree, followed by dinner with M. and her positively lovely family (Dad loves national parks! and history!), and then I rode my bike home in the dark, full up on good feelings. Congratulations, graduates!
I hopped on my bike this evening and headed to campus for tonight’s Oak Wreath dinner, thrown by the Newcomb College Institute in honor of outstanding graduating female students. My dear student M. invited me as her guest, and I was more than happy to attend. Each of the 20 or so students took turns talking about their professor-date, and then each professor talked about the brilliant and sassy student who invited them. I talked about reading M.’s final paper from our class on feminist activism–it was so smart, creative, and brave, it made me cry, and talking about it got me all choked up. (I appear to be a crybaby, at least lately.) And the same thing happened over and over again, and there are so many more stories of teachers and students at all levels all over this place…love, love, love it. And then I got back on my bike and did a loop around the park before heading home. Bittersweet.
Oh, it’s graduation season! I love graduating, I love watching other people graduate, I love the music, the parents, the leis, the everything. I knew I wouldn’t have much time to make it from the graduation lunch with the outstanding grads in public service to the Under the Oaks ceremony for the Newcomb College Institute, so I took the speedy little road bike and headed out in cloudy skies to celebrate myself some college graduates. Continue reading