Monday, May 17, 2010
Rant #256: It's Graduation Day (Part 2)
... or it was Graduation Day on Saturday, May 15.
My family and I journeyed to Oswego, New York, for all the festivities surrounding my daughter's graduation from SUNY Oswego, which took place in the afternoon this past Saturday.
It took us exactly--and I mean just about to the minute--six hours to trek the 300-plus miles from Long Island to Oswego, a town which reminds me of Mayberry, but on steroids. There is so much old and quaint about this town, but with a college of this size right in it, it has plenty of the new in it too.
The school had so many graduates (undergrads and advanced degrees) that they had to split up the ceremony into two parts, with some kids getting their degrees in the morning and other kids--like my daughter--getting their degrees in the afternoon.
The morning ceremony was going to have some controversy, as John McHugh, the Secretary of the Army, was supposed to speak, but he decided not to come when his arrival was going to spark a number of protests related to his stand on the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" military stance.
But he wasn't there, and it would not have affected my daughter's ceremony, anyway.
Oswego ran a very tight ship during the ceremony. It lasted maybe 2-plus hours, which isn't much when you consider how many students received their degrees in the afternoon. It had to be at least 500 or so, if not more.
However, they were less tight with their program booklet. My daughter's name was not in there, and I later found out that dozens of graduates' names were omitted from the program. I don't know why.
The guest speaker was writer/activist Naomi Wolfe, and I must say, she was quite eloquent and really not very controversial when she spoke to the assembled throng. She alluded to the situation that was avoided earlier in the day just one time, and very briefly, but not directly, which I think was the way to go.
Finally, it was time to see my daughter get her diploma. We came early, had great seats directly parallel to where my daughter was seated, and she went up with her fellow students and got her diploma, or more to the point, a case for the diploma. She will get the diploma sent to her.
Then, it was over seemingly as quickly as it started. I was so proud of her, and I felt kind of old, in that I now have a daughter who has a college degree, and a son going into high school next year.
In all the hub-bub afterward, it was very hard to get through the crowd, but we found my ex-wife's husband, and he led us to see my daughter so I could take a few photos in her cap and gown for her grandparents.
I saw my ex-wife and her family, said congratulations to all of them, but they did not offer my congratulations. It is pretty much what I expected.
Her mom took our daughter out to dinner after the celebration, and we took her out for breakfast the next day.
Then we bid farewell. My daughter recently got a job as a teaching assistant in Oswego, so she will be staying there at least through the summer, maybe more.
The trip home went well until we approached the George Washington Bridge. With incredible traffic, construction on the Throgs Neck Bridge, and the usual Sunday traffic, it took us over eight hours to get home!
Today, I feel very proud of my daughter, but I am also bushed from the trip. I will make it through today on adrenalin, nothing more.
But it was a great day, and I hope my daughter gets to do exactly what she wants to do with her life.
She worked hard enough to get to this point, and she deserves it.
Psst ... anyone know of an elementary school teaching position that is open ... ?
Posted by Larry at 4:46 AM