What Day Even Is It?

 We headed to Ithaca Friday afternoon, got there and met Angus for dinner, a few hours after he successfully defended his master's thesis. We had to stay in Elmira forty minutes away, in the same hotel we stayed in visiting him all through undergrad, due to how late we booked, but it was kind of fun going back there. Saturday we went to the brunch for the Health and Exercise Science faculty and hung out with Angus and his supervisor and profs, which was really cool. Then went to the grad ceremony, then dinner, then drove home. Then there was still Sunday and Monday of the long weekend, so I've been confused about what day it is all week.

I was feeling kind of insanely allergic to everything in Ithaca, then Sunday was snotty and coughish all day. Monday felt fine, Tuesday took my mom shopping, all good. Yesterday I woke up and got ready for work without talking to anyone because Matt is in Boston and Eve was still sleeping (she got up and weeded the back yard while I was at work, so I do not begrudge this). I got to work, tried to say good morning to someone and only a horrifying croak came out. So I guess it really was/is a cold. Happily I still have a good amount of the vat of narcotic cough syrup my doctor gave me last time, because the Cough of Death is making itself known. 

We were really happy Angus decided to walk at grad. All year he said he wasn't going to bother, been there done that, and when he thought he was leaving for North Carolina in June or July he thought he'd be busy packing and looking for a place. Then he found out he doesn't start until September, so texted me "just picked up my cap and gown" (Me: "What now?"). It was totally worth missing the event we were going to for Dave's birthday, not that I wasn't looking forward to some scantily-clad stormtroopers action. 

The brunch was extremely informal, but a nice chance to meet some of the people he'd spent two years with. His supervisor, who he said was the GOAT, knew more about figure skating than baseball, but she was willing to learn with him and was so encouraging whenever he was having difficulties. It was in the Health Sciences Center so there were pictures of motion analysis and stuff on the walls, including one of Angus's leg being handled - not quite as glamorous as his fifteen-foot-tall photo at the Little League World Series, but still cool. 

Saturday was only the graduate students walking, so it was much smaller than it would be Sunday for all the undergrads, but still about the same size as his tiny undergrad college. But it was inside, not under the blazing sun, and it went quickly. Ithaca has a robust music program, so the four-part harmony for the national anthem and a couple of other pieces was stunning. Every faculty got hooded by a representative of their profs - we met the one doing Angus's at the brunch. Funny guy from California who moved to New England for college and never went back. The college president is an impressive woman with a lot of presence, and her speech was really moving. Angus knew her from working in the provost's office for two years, so I like to think her first bump with him was a little extra.

We got to meet Angus's roommate from this year (last year he was with kitchen slobs that he didn't click with at all), super nice kid and family. He's going to be in Virginia next year so they have plans to get together again. Angus surprisingly had a line on a roommate for next year too - a friend of friends from Division 3 baseball who is starting work at the same facility but a couple of months earlier. Would be nice if he's not all alone, although the sports connection seems to help him, uh, connect with people pretty well. 

Angus and George, his roommate

There were professional photos taken at the grad ceremony. The pics themselves are nice, but we have been chortling over the horribly tacky fake backgrounds they offer. 

"That's it, that's the one" I said when he sent the proofs to me.

Note the Maple Leaf sash they gave him to wear. "This is character growth, I would never have done this for undergrad" he said. We were walking over from the brunch to the building where grad was and we passed a group and heard a woman say "OH, he's CaNAYdian". 

Alternatively, this one where he's about to... get clocked?

We walked around campus after the ceremony. I felt a little sad that we hadn't spent much time there during his two years. The first year Covid was still sort of a looming spectre, and the second year we did come once in the fall. It just feels strange to know so little about somewhere that was such a big part of his life, but I guess that's part of the whole stupid kids growing up and making their own stupid lives thing. (I do take Steph's point from the previous post, though, that it is probably better that they are out in the world doing their thing than stuck. Here's hoping Noah finds something exciting and satisfying soon). 

I had thought ahead and made a reservation at the really nice restaurant we went to in the fall, because the Commons was pretty much thronged after grad. We got Angus fed a giant hamburger, went and collected a couple of loads of winter clothes from him to take home, and hit the road. 

Imagine the starting size of that pickle!

It wasn't quite enough time with him, in the way that it never is, quite, but it was really nice. He is happy and excited about the next stage, and we are happy and excited for him. 


Nicole said…
Get clocked, lol, what a picture!
Yay Angus, congrats to him. This was SO great to read! I feel like it was just yesterday that I was getting groupie tweets on twitter for knowing you and by association him at the LLWS (do you remember that? "Do you know Angus Adams? Can you introduce me?" No, sorry, random young girl on twitter.) (wow, was that a random memory or what). Anyway, it does not feel that long ago and now here he is, finished GRAD SCHOOL WHAT.
Sorry about your cold! Ugh. TGFCodeine I guess.
Anna aka Beachmama said…
So glad he decided to walk! All the best to Angus on his next adventure North Carolina is amazing!
StephLove said…
Congrats to Angus! I'm glad you got to see him graduate, even if the time felt short.

I'm also kind of jealous. I love Ithaca and it's sad not to have a reason to visit there any more. I miss the waterfalls and the fun places to eat.
Swistle said…
Congratulations to Angus! I don't understand what business they think they have getting all grown up like this?? Absolutely rude and inappropriate and I'M not getting weepy YOU are getting weepy
Swistle said…
Oh and p.s. I have a friend who let her children choose the backgrounds for their school portraits every year, and by the time she shared this idea with me it was far too late for me to participate (my youngest is the same as her eldest), and I am almost bereft. She has years and years of, for example, '80s blue-and-pink laser backgrounds, and paint-splatter backgrounds, and ridiculous rainbow waterfall backgrounds, and purple glitter backgrounds and so forth, and all I have for my kids' portraits is the boring sensible grey or blue solid backgrounds.
Big congratulations to Angus and all of you! Well done!
san said…
Congrats to Angus... I am glad you were able to enjoy the graduation... although I did chuckle about the photo background. What in the world...?

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