Monday, May 23, 2011

The Graduate

I remember when I got my bachelor's degree in an austere ceremony that involved our clerk handing out a modest certificate through a hole in the wall and then sliding out a register for me to sign in, all strictly done without eye contact. A far cry from the pomp and gaiety and cheering that surrounded my sister's walk.  

One reason for the elaborate ritual is surely tradition, but I also think that this kind of trumping up has one of two contrasting outcomes for kids watching. On the one hand it does appear that the recognition and sense of occasion lends an aspirational value to education. On the other, it also got me wondering if the exclusivity would perhaps make it appear inaccessible to some folks. I don't know the answer. All I know is that even the silly hats couldn't distract me from feeling lots of pride.

The graduation was the first of a series of "Oh she's really grown up" epiphanies. The other high point of the trip was meeting my remarkable nephew (among other things he digs Bakasura and seemingly gets his nutrition almost entirely from suspended particles in the air). A doff of the hat to his parents for being awesome hosts and Florida guides.
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