Bahstan

Well, I’ve graduated graduate school and I have homework tomorrow.
The past few days, wait, the past few weeks have been a complete whirlwind. Planning this trip – booking tickets to Boston separately for me and then for my family, booking the hotel room the same way, booking the flat in London, booking the flight to London, getting all the documents together for customs – as well as making sure everything is taken care of – buying adapters, cleaning my apartment, packing, repacking, packing again, paying bills, etc – has worn me out.
I only got about three hours of sleep Friday night. I was anxious about traveling and it wasn’t just leaving for a week, so I had to prep my apartment in ways I hadn’t had to before – emptying the fridge and cupboards or canceling Dish Network. Then the flights were super turbulent, but that was okay. Mom and dad traveling together was hilarious and comforting. They’re completely civil and friendly, but I thanked them both, with a tear or two, for being able to do this with me. I realize how lucky I am to have divorced parents who are able to travel together, and travel well together, for my sake.
We got into Boston and after a short rest, we headed to Dirk’s for the class BBQ. Our Chinese cabbie taught us American history and accidentally drove us through the not-so-great part of Boston. We needed to be in Cambridge and how the hell were we supposed to know? We get to Dirk’s in one piece, even having driven past a crime scene, and right away I get a big hug from Deb. We get to the garden and I recognize Kim immediately. She jumps up and gives me an even bigger hug. (Earlier, she had said she felt the ground shake when I stepped foot in Boston. I apologize for anyone who might have felt the tremor and mistook it for a minute earthquake.)
Beers were enjoyed, we laughed our asses off. I met Brett, and then later Matthias showed up, fresh off the plane from San Fran. I must say, my classmates are the fucking shit. An outsider would not have been able to tell that we’d never met. We’ve been communicating academically since October, but are from all over the country and, in Matthias’s case until recently, the globe.
Dad took over the grill and later borrowed Dirk’s guitar to entertain us with some AC/DC, Deep Purple, Led Zep, and Beatles: acoustic-style. I could have stayed forever. I even got to bust out some Deutsch and impress the Krauts.

Today, I walked across stage to a mispronounced last name (let’s be honest, if ii sounds like E in “skiing” and “Wii,” then it sure as hell follows the same rule in Friis, damnit) and received a big ass sheet of cardstock: my conferred degree. It is post-dated for August 31st, so I guess that means I actually need to finish the program, eh. It was Matthias’s first graduation ceremony, and the fourth of his degrees. They don’t do grad celebrations in Germany, so it was heartwarming to see him experience it all; his wife and two terribly adorable sons were there, as well as his folks from Germany. As we walked across stage, the president of the school put the regalia over our heads. It was like so official. We are the first media psychology class to graduate from MSPP, and one of the first in the world. Nay, in history. I’ll try not to let that go to my head. Much.

But, really, the first. I mean, come on.

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Luck of the Swedes

Thanks to some St. Patty’s Day magic, a plan is in motion. Well, it is soon to be in motion, barring any complicated reasons as to my visa application being “unsuccessful.”

I had been putting off checking my school email all week and finally decided I should do something productive this weekend. In my inbox, I found an eight-email long chain between my classmates about graduation. Why the hell are we talking about graduation already? The program isn’t over until August…

Then I notice the email from the director about graduation details. It looks like commencement is June 2nd in Boston.

We are invited to walk and will receive some sort of dummy diploma until we actually finish. I had always planned on going (sentiment), but getting a false sense of completion is going to be annoying now. Whatever.

I was planning on jumping the pond on May 27th, but now I’m faced with a better plan, I think.

June 1st, I would fly to Boston with my mom, dad, and brother, we could enjoy some sights for some of the day, go to graduation in the morning, enjoy some more sights and then have a nice dinner together to celebrate. The next morning, June 3rd, I would hop a plane for London and my family could fly back home.

Perfect.

Now I have a purposeful date in mind and I can start making arrangements.

That is, if the “detailed notice” doesn’t tell me to stay my Yankee ass home. Hmm.

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