Convocation is over and i have safely graduated from the U of C. it was a beautiful, sunny, incredibly hot day in Hyde Park, and walking from Ratner (where the Class of 2005 had assembled for the last time as a class) to Harper Quad for the ceremony, i just -stared at the buildings, drinking in the sights and sounds and smells of campus one more -one last- time, before i leave. the way the sun warms the stone of the buildings, in the summer; the way the air hangs thick and heavy, like home, and is filled with cottonwood and the scent of flowers and of heat. one last time walking through Hull Gate like we own the place, straight through the middle of the quads into Harper Quad, two by two, down a narrow aisle pressed on either side by friends and family, following the sound of bagpipes and the sight of our class banner and the school crest floating ahead of us, just like the first day when we moved in. all i could think was -this is it. one last time. i'm all done here. all done.
the ceremony went well -- i wound up sitting with someone i knew, thankfully, and we snarked our way through the three hour ceremony, it was good fun -- i didn't trip and fall, or lose a shoe, despite their being incredibly painful (why'd i wear them, you ask? they're pretty, doh.). i got the right diploma. it didn't rain. one of the student speakers was "That Guy" from hum class or soc class - you know That Guy, the one who always has something to say, who's done the EXTRA reading, or hasn't done ANY reading and is bullshitting his way through. That Guy.
and afterward, i couldn't find anyone in the crush. so -- i apologise to those of you i didn't get to see, or hug, or take a picture with, or say a proper goodbye to. it's been a pleasure and a privilege to have met you, and spent time with you, and shared four years of this incredibly insane ride with you. being here at the U of C has changed me -in profound ways- and a lot of that is because of you - how you've taken me into your lives, and made me your friend. i know that in all likelihood i shan't see most of you again -the world is small, but it's not THAT small, and i live on the other side of it- so i'd just like to say thanks. and cheers, to the good times. good luck and godspeed. =)
to those who are at home - i'll be back soon. photos forthcoming, and all that. packing proceeds apace -tonight is the last night in my apartment here on 55th Street. then it's off to Yellowstone, and then it's off to home, four years of my life packed into two suitcases, and a lifetime of memories crammed inside my head. i have no doubt that this time, as the plane leaves the tarmac at o'hare, my eyes will be filled once more with tears.