I can’t help but feel a little down on myself as graduation time has come and gone. May 18th should have been My Commencement. The week leading up to it should have been senior week for me: a week of no classes, performances by every group on campus, many visits to local coffee shops, and spending as much time as possible with your senior friends. I should have had to find an all white dress, which I would have had to wear with black shoes. I should have worn my cap and gown that was given to me by a friend who graduated last year. I should have had to walk in “a diploma circle,” holding some random diploma given to me during commencement that I would give to the proper person, and receiving in return from another my own diploma. I should have been there for all of the amazingly quirky traditions at Smith.
I should be able to proudly say that I have a Smith College Bachelor’s Degree!
Instead, I can say that I will have a Smith College Bachelor’s Degree, but that it took me one semester longer than originally planned. Instead, I can say that while I did not graduate on the same date as originally planned, I had the most beautiful baby in the world. Instead, I can say that I became a mother.
That is pretty great.
Zach is officially a college graduate! I couldn’t be prouder. Not many people can say that they graduated with such an amazing degree (computer science at the number 1 computer science school in the country, tied with MIT!) while supporting a family. Even fewer can say that they did it well. Not only did he do well academically in his last year, but also he was an amazing partner and father.
On Saturday night, in a pre-celebratory evening, Zach’s parents, uncle, Zach and I went to a bar on Grandview Avenue, where there is an amazing view of downtown Pittsburgh. Zach’s father took this fantastic shot of the city:
And here we all are, minus Zach’s father because, again, he was taking the picture. From left to right there is Zach’s mother, Zach, Zach’s uncle Mark, and me:
Graduation was amazing. We went to a “breakfast” for the computer science students. I use that word very loosely, as the food that was served consisted of stuffed mushrooms, cheese, meat, and crackers, fried chicken, and latkes. It was raining and raining all morning long, so we were not really looking forward to sitting in the rain for over an hour during the main ceremony. As we laid down our trash bags on the bleacher seats, and put on the CMU labelled ponchos that we were given, the sun peaked through the sky.
The key note speaker was Al Gore. In my opinion, it couldn’t have been much better than that. He discussed global warming, of course, but also told a few hilarious stories, including one where he did an uncanny impression of Bill Clinton.
That’s Al Gore!
The School of Computer Science had their diploma ceremony at the Carnegie Music Hall, a beautiful setting in which to graduate. We got to see Jeff Bezos, CEO and founder of Amazon.com, and Randy Pausch! Jeff Bezos was hilarious, with highly geeky jokes, which is appropriate for a computer science graduation. Randy Pausch spoke at the main ceremony as well, but as a former computer science professor he also spoke at the computer science diploma ceremony:
Jeff Bezos told us a story of how someone explained in an interview that the reason he, Jeff, was so good at his job was because he didn’t have sex. Apparently, Jeff said, this person did not think about his “gaggle” of children. Randy Pausch told everyone to find their passion and pursue it. Don’t hesitate. That it’s not the things you did that you’ll regret, it’s the things that you didn’t do that you’ll regret.
Congratulations, Zach. You are amazing: