Saturday morning. I planned to sleep in, but somehow woke up an hour before the alarm. Maybe I'm more nervous than I think. :-) I tried to memorize my speech, but it just took too darn long. Didn't even get halfway through it. Ah well -- nobody else will have memorized theirs either. :-)
My mom and sister should be here soon, and then we're off to the ceremonies. They'll probably be deadly dull, but what can you do? There was something very satisfying about my college graduation, but Chicago knows how to do pomp and circumstance right. A bagpipe band in full kilts to pipe us in, all the foreign professors with their funny hats process-ing, the whole ceremony in grand Rockefeller Chapel, encased in the same heavy stone that surrounded you through many of your classes...by the end of a few hours of that, you start feeling like you really are taking part in something old and important and serious, like you're one of a chain of scholars stretching back through the years and generations, like you've really accomplished something, like the Academy *means* something. I bet I got pretty choked up; it's the sort of thing I get sentimental about.
By contrast, the Mills meadow on a sunny day is going to feel decidedly more casual, I think. Which is perhaps appropriate -- I didn't take my time at Chicago all that seriously, and the ceremony reminded me that I should have; and I did work terribly hard at Mills, so it'll be nice to relax and revel in being done.
After the ceremony will be a champagne and strawberries reception on campus (ah, some things are exactly the same no matter where you go...), and then we'll be coming back here. I think the family will take off then, and I'll finish making food for a small celebratory tea. My mother offered to buy dinner for me and my friends, but it just feels more appropriate to be cooking. :-) Cucumber/cream cheese and egg salad sandwiches with the edges cut off, raspberry tarts and strawberry shortcake with lots of whipped cream, Cliff cookies, and perhaps, if there's time, I'll make cranberry scones. And lots and lots of tea, of course.
Well, the sun is shining, the bell will soon be tolling, and I must go brush my teeth. :-) Have a fabulous day, my dears, and think of me.
P.S. And Shmuel, it's a *lovely* book. Thank you. I'll read it soon and think of you...