Stef has graduated college. We all attended yesterday in what was a whirlwind weekend!
Helaine didn’t walk at her graduation and though I finished the meteorology program at Mississippi State that didn’t qualify me to walk. This was my first.
We headed to Long Island and got there in time to see some of Stef’s friends and take a few pictures. Stefanie lived in the dorm for four years, but we met at a small house. It was really more of a “housette” on a nondescript street in Hempstead.
One of the girls told me how much she (and by she I suppose she meant her parents) are paying for monthly rent. I did some quick in-my-head multiplication and figured the house goes for around $4200 a month. Seriously? For that it should come with maid service… which it obviously did not. Obviously.
The day was gray and chilly and we walked the few blocks to the school’s football stadium. My parents, both in their 80s but looking and acting much younger, hoofed it without trouble. Yes, that’s very good news.
The parents and guests filled two thirds of the stands while the grads–reported as about 2,000 by Newsday–sat on folding chairs set up on the field. There was rain, but not much. There were three commencement speakers and, as Helaine noted, no valedictory speaker. I wonder why?
First up was Senator Charles Schumer of New York. Here’s what I took away. The most important part of college is Chuck Schumer.
Next was Nichols Negraponte of MIT’s Media Lab and the One Laptop Per Child project. I have been a fan of his for years but his speech was anything but inspiring. This was the definitive speech when people talk about graduation speeches they don’t remember!
The third speaker was Bob Schieffer of CBS News. He is connected to the school by virtue of his moderating the presidential debate at Hofstra last fall. Scheiffer was charming. He just seemed like a nice guy¹. I’m not sure there was anything earth shattering said, but I wasn’t disappointed.
All three speakers acknowledged how difficult it would be getting a job in this horrendous economy. No one wanted to hear it, but it’s certainly the 500 pound gorilla in every grad’s life.
By the time we got back to Stef’s dorm room we were down to two hours to vacate! No problem. We’d taken some stuff last weekend and were prepared. With plenty of time to spare her possesions were packed into the back our Helaine and Stef’s cars.
We were back in Connecticut around midnight. I was exhausted and not alone in that regard. Helaine, Stef and my folks were soon in bed and asleep. I followed a few hours later.
This past weekend is a blur! Even while it was in progress it was tough to see where Saturday ended and Sunday began. I woke up this morning thinking it was Sunday.
Stef has graduated. It’s a hell of an accomplishment. We are very proud.
¹ – Someone I work with was an intern for Scheiffer in Washington and confirms he is a very nice man.