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Posts Tagged ‘pomp and circumstance’

Our oldest child received his Bachelor of Science degree in Physics from Laval University two weeks ago. We had to be at the University two hours before the beginning of the ceremony, but since we only live ten minutes away, that was no problem. I packed up my knitting to occupy myself during the wait, and the three of us were off. When we parked the car, my husband looked at me and said, “You have the camera, right?” My response was a blank stare. I had made sure that I had my knitting at my son’s graduation, but no camera!

Now, in my defense, my husband is a professor at the University and has been to many graduations (because of the large number of students, there are seven ceremonies each year!). He told me that it would be in the field house. I imagined sitting in the grandstand and barely being able to see my son, so why bring the camera? Mistake #1, poor communication based on false perceptions. These are things that I teach in my psychology classes! At least I will have another real example to give my students!

As it turns out, the field house is transformed into a type of auditorium. There is a large stage and the graduates and family members are all seated in the middle of the playing area. I was seated about five feet from where my son passed to go on the stage. I could have gotten beautiful pictures! Fortunately I have three other children, so I may get three more chances to get it right!

I have to say that this all happened quite quickly. Our family has been overwhelmed with different health/professional problems since the beginning of the year, so I didn’t give this important event as much thought as I normally would have. When “Pomp and Circumstance” began to play, I was surprised to feel the tears running down my cheeks. I wasn’t prepared for such an emotional response. The memories came flooding back unbidden, my pregnancy, my sweet toddler, elementary school. He is the first child, so all the “firsts”. Then my deceased parents who had a very close relationship with my son. How proud they would be of him. And the tears kept flowing. I don’t know how many times they played “Pomp and Circumstance” until the 400 students were marched in. I did have time to stop the leaks. Obviously, if I didn’t have the camera, I didn’t have kleenex! Fortunately, I had bought a cup of coffee and had the foresight to take a few napkins!

Just as I was ready to move on from memories to the ceremony, the president and the professors marched into the hall. It was the first time I had seen my husband in his “full regalia”. In addition to being a professor, he has been one of the Vice Presidents of the University for the last two years. His term ends next week, so our son’s graduation happeningĀ at this point in my husband’s career was quite poignant. I had pretty much used up the napkins. But, I am proud of every tear!

You must be asking yourself by now, so where did these pictures come from? Well, I don’t usually approve of special treatment, but, in this case, I was thrilled that “rank has privileges”. The University’s official photographer took the picture of our son receiving his diploma. (He would have done this even if I had brought my camera). At the end of the ceremony he took these lovely ones of us. So, all’s well that ends well, but I’ve already made a list for our daughter’s graduation in two years!

Congratulations Pete!

We love you and couldn’t be more proud of you!!

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