If you see a whole thing - it seems that it's always beautiful. Planets, lives... But up close a world's all dirt and rocks. And day to day, life's a hard job, you get tired, you lose the pattern. - Ursula K. LeGuin

Friday, May 6, 2011

Graduation Daze

Today was graduation.  We have two on the same day: the university graduation in the morning and the departmental graduation in the afternoon.  I didn't make it to the morning one. I have not been a happy camper at work lately and just didn't have two graduations in me.

Instead I ran in the park (absolutely lovely) and then cleaned my house and set-up the spare bedroom (Pumpkin and BB are coming tonight).

Then I headed over to campus for the second graduation.  It is always heartwarming to see students graduate and hear their exuberant families in the stands.  However, two years ago we went from a school-wide graduation to each department hosting its own graduation.  This is supposed to make it more personal but I haven't found it to be true.  Instead it is a lot of extra work with fewer resources so the result feels rushed and formulaic to me.

Luckily the students seemed to enjoy it.

Afterwards we host a small reception in the gym and students bring their parents over to meet the faculty.  I'm not a sociable animal and don't shine at the meet and greet but I know it is an important part of the event.

This year one of my students had a traumatic experience and is not doing well.  I am worried about her and it was sad to see her affect so flat on graduation day.  She promised to visit me during the summer and I'm hoping she follows up on it.

Tonight I went to a party at another student's house.  Many of my students (both graduate and undergraduate) attended as did Pumpkin and BB.  I also got to spend a little time with the student's mother, sister and brother-in-law and it was much nicer to get to know them in a more informal setting. This student has been a research assistant for me for almost three years now. She is taking a year off before graduate school and wants to continue our work together in the meantime.

I will miss them all when they leave but I am realizing how they have formed a revolving community: as some make their way out, others are being welcomed in.


Drax said...

You're getting TOO OLD for this kind of nonsense!



Annie said...

Hi Brigindo,
I detect a lot of sadness in your "voice" as well. I'm sure it's rough having a student you've formed a relationship with, going through a difficult time; and every graduation must have it's bit of sadness as well as joy (the way I'm stating it sounds cliche, but it isn't). I hope the end of term will give you some sense of peace, and also rest.