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4:40 p.m. - 2004-06-03

Swinging Tassels and other morsels

Phewwww . . . . . one hectic day out of the way.

Walking out of the lumber yard yesterday for the last “official” time felt kind of weird to me, was a none event. I don’t know if that truly encapsulates it. I wasn’t expecting fireworks, streamers, or cake. I wasn’t expecting anything. But I did think I’d feel differently. Sad, or morose, or giddy, or happy . . . . something, but I didn’t ‘feel’ anything. Still a bit of a quandary really. I’ll suss it out in my mind and get back to you.

When I got home I was still in a bit of a dither to figure out what I was going to wear. (I know, I know – typical woman – can’t make her mind up) I was not totally comfortable at the thought of wearing the new dress I’d ordered. Remember the unusual red number I’d mentioned a few entries back? I am not a person that likes to stick out in a crowd or be stared at for unusual clothing. Ah, but to be more bohemian and gypsyish – that’s what I want to be known for (truly not like me at all). However, I was still feeling like I looked a little . . . . oh I don’t know . . . say . . . . white trash? LARGE white trash in a red dress at a sophisticated function . . . .

Ok – can you tell I have some self esteem issues to work on? I know, please don’t send reassuring notes about this.

Anyway – my mother-in-law stepped in and saved the day. She’s a bit of a Tanjay lady (you shoppers know what kind of clothing I’m talking about). She likes her polyester and elastic, but she has nice taste in clothing styles. I put the dress on with an olive coloured jacket that covered up those spots you DON’T want to bring attention to, and she complimented me profusely. She tends to be very blunt when giving comment on my clothes – which I respect and am willing to hear. So I took this as a good sign and decided to wear the outfit.

What made my day (regarding the dress) was when I saw the look in my hubby’s eye. That spoke volumes to me.

Now on to HIS day . . . . Convocation is an interesting event. Full of intellectual pomp and circumstance – fanfare – tradition. Everyone in his or her appropriate hood colours. Orange for Engineering. Burgundy for Commerce. Pink for Music?????? And so on. All in all it was colourful. We all stood and the Chancellor, professors, and graduating students walked in to take their seats. Loud playing of organ music, waves and hoots from the audience as they see their loved one, friend, colleague walk in. No less proud was I as I spotted T, all dressed up in his cap, gown, and gold and black hood (gold with a black tripe down the middle designating a Masters level). We gave each other a tiny - close to body - wave and broad smile. THEN I nudged his parents to show them his seating position. All very grand.

The Chancellor opens with a few comments. Followed by a representative from the Canadian Government, then the Provincial Government. Boy!!! – You can sure tell there’s an election (both federally and provincially) in the next month or two. But blessedly both politicians (David Anderson, Minister of the Environment/Canada, and Ida Chong, MLA (Member of the Legislative Assembly) for BC) were quick – less than 5 minutes each. The Honouree PhD recipient, . . . . we were not so blessed with. Mrs. Jane Heffelfinger (yes – folks that’s her name) was funny for the first few minutes, but when she got on to speaking about how opera is the answer to the worlds ills . . . . I tuned out. I noticed that most of the student body did as well. Actually – half the fun was watching some of the graduates play with their tassels (on their caps). How close they could swing said tassel towards nose without touching. That was the question. This amused many a student. Others were snoozing, and T even told me of a fellow Masters student who’d snuck in a magazine.

Can you get a good picture of the afternoon here?

Once the presentations of the grads commenced it ran a little faster. T and 7 or so others were awarded their Masters. Three PhD’s, and a good 150 or so Bachelors Degrees. I was very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very (did I say VERY?) proud of T as his name was announced and he shook the Chancellors hand. He worked very hard to get here. This was his moment.

I did shed one tear though. They had a posthumously awarded degree. Amongst all the robed people lined up to be presented stood a young woman and her 4 year old son. I don’t recall the name of this ladies husband, but during the preparation of his last project he’d been killed in a car accident. The University was awarding the degree to the son in honour of his father’s efforts to obtain an education. Watching the mother and son walk across the stage, as the husband/father should have, was a moving moment. I was struck by how brave she was, at what should have been a joyous celebration. Reality check

Anyway – the rest of the 2 and a half hour event went well. We all stood and the processional of new graduates left the auditorium. We fought our way through the crowds to find T after. So many people. So much claustrophobia!!! We succeeded none-the-less and fought our way further to the punch and sandwiches – then outside. Blessed fresh air.

It was a casual evening at home. My In-laws decided to stay an additional night (last night). So we celebrated with Roast beef, double stuffed potatoes, and corn. We took a drive through 10 Mile Point, Uplands and ended up at the Dairy Queen for Sundae’s.

A great ending to an unusual day in the Ducharme’s life. New Chapters started today – all round.

This entry ended up being a little long. Truly sorry about that. I promise to curtail a little on the next few to make up for it. Cheers - LJ

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