One downside is that I think I picked up a slight cold or something from my family (three out of four of the others felt sickish yesterday)...although I feel much better today than last night! (my flight got in around midnight and I was exhausted from travelling)
The way UofR does it is there is a ceremony for everyone in the morning, but they don't call names and nobody walks. You receive your diploma in smaller ceremonies on a per-department basis. So, the four of us got up early Saturday morning to get good seats - we got there around 8:15 for a ceremony that started around 9. The trouble was that when we got there, it was cold, windy and rainy. Luckily, it stopped raining before the ceremony started and the wind died down some, but it was still darn cold. To pass the time, Carrie and I and Mom played a word game - we each picked a word before it started that we thought would be said the most, and counted how many times it was said. Carrie beat us both by a lot. For your enjoyment, take a guess which word won!
Which word was uttered the most at U of R graduation?
Carrie had "academic", which was said 7 times. I had "success" which was said 2 times (although "succeed" was said 2 times as well). Mom had "meliora" which, oddly enough, was only said twice. Thanks for playing!
That first ceremony was fairly short, only an hour long. Then we met up and went inside to warm up, then headed out to the next ceremony (where we met the grandparents). The Modern Language and Cultures ceremony (wonderjess majored in Russian) was not well run at all, so it took almost an hour to graduate maybe 40 people. And it was boring. And slooow.
But after that we headed over to brunch, which was awesome! I had a tasty omelette and some yogurt with granola, some hot tea, and strawberry shortcake from the strawberry shortcake bar. (yes, a strawberry shortcake bar!) I didn't even try the lunch stuff, which looked delicious, or the waffle maker or the hot chocolate with marshmallows in it. Mmmm.
After lunch was the political science ceremony, which was much more organized and better run. I didn't realize just how big the department is - they graduated almost 100 people this year! wonderjess won an award for the outstanding undergraduate in poli sci - congrats!
We were pretty "graduated out" by that point, so we helped wonderjess pack and store some more stuff, then relaxed for a bit and then went to a poli sci party hosted by a professor. That was sorta awkward, as Carrie and I clung together to avoid social awkwardness, at which we mostly succeeded. Then it was time for dinner (oof, so full by that point...maybe that's why I gained a bunch of weight this week :-( ) and bed after that.
wonderjess finished moving out, and she found an apartment for next year, so all in all it was a successful weekend. It was nice to see my family and grandparents, too.
Travel notes: I flew JetBlue for the first time, and boy is it awesome! The seats were pretty comfortable and the inflight DirecTV and XM satellite radio are awesome. I watched an X-Files, Daily Show, Colbert Report, Yankees-Mets game, and some other stuff I'm probably forgetting. Also listened to the end of Game 7 of Mavs-Spurs. On the way there, I watched Game 6 of the Cavs-Pistons game - unfortunately, the signal cut out (which happened reasonably often) when there was 1.6 seconds left and came back on after the game was over. The second flight, I watched Game 6 of Mavs-Spurs....until there was 16 seconds left and we had landed and they turned the system off. Doh!
On the way there, I was flying into JFK and we had started late (and I only had 50 minutes for my connection anyway)...then the flight was slower than expected. But I was still going to be OK until the pilot announced the flight in front of us had declared an emergency and so no one else could land until they did. So we had to circle around a bit. Then when we finally did land, we had to sit on the ground for maybe 10 minutes because there were no gates available. Luckily they held the flight for me, because otherwise I surely would not have made it...
On the way back, I got to spend a lot of time at JFK airport in New York. It's a neat place! Lots of interesting restaurants, and a few bookstores, and just generally a very busy place, which I liked.