May 15, 2008
Although many of you have already celebrated graduation, we here at VLS are gearing up for graduation this weekend. I was warned we live under something of a weather curse here at VLS; a dean was just reminiscing with me about the "one great (weather) graduation", back in 2003, when the weather cooperated with the ceremony. Last year it snowed. I interviewed for my current job the week following the snowy graduation, and it was 85+ with 85+% humidity. (Yes, it gets that hot here in the summer in Vermont!)
Besides chatting about the weather, graduates are going through the bittersweet emotions associated with graduation. I see them flying through my office hoping for a last-minute appointment to go over bar plans before they fly off. Two minutes after they leave my office, I see them teary-eyed in the hallways talking to a beloved professor or friend, yet later in the afternoon I can hear them laughing outside in the graduation tents as they try on their regalia for the first time. And yes, many of the hats do make them look like 14th century poets.
(Lesson from my own graduation: It's always a good idea to try on graduation regalia before graduation day.)
Graduation should be a time for us to celebrate our accomplishments as well as our students successes. We saw them through three years. Many, many of those who said they would not make it are now ready to pick up their diploma. If you get a thank you or two, know that there are at least 10 other students who feel the same way but are too focused on their future to stop and say the words. Stop and pat yourself on the back as you walk back from graduation; our blood, sweat, and tears went into getting them on that stage to pick up the diploma.
Addendum-May 19--graduation day was GORGEOUS here in Vermont; clear blue skies and 70 degrees, despite reports of rain showers. We may have escaped the weather curse...