Monday, 17 May 2010

Commencement/ Graduation




We had a wonderful insight into American University life as my daughter graduated with summa cum laude this May. The Commencement/ Graduation ceremony ( yes, the two countries are divided by a common language) was fabulous. The American razzamatazz was obvious from the first thing we glimpsed as we entered the the huge Alumni Hall. As the pic shows the message of Congratulations to the students was made entirely of cupcakes in the university colours and given to all of us at the end of the ceremony. Inside we were given hot coffee,doughnuts and a super warm welcome. On that cold morning with snow flurries it was just what we needed. The show was staged with huge screens at two ends of the dais. The speeches were good. Senator Schumer
(the one in whose office my daughter is doing an internship) recounted his personal journey from a Law graduate to a politican and inspired them all with funny and relevant words. A consummate politician, he got his Democratic messages through and despite the present state of the economy he goaded them to aim high and 'Go For It'. Later,there was a beach ball floating around, a few high jinks but everything was taken in good spirits and the ceremony ended with each student's names announced loudly, some gave a gentle wave to their parents in the audience, some did a crazy hip hop to our delectation. The fruit punch, choc-chip cookies, brownies and more sweets helped to end the morning on a sugary note. Proudly we hugged our double graduate daughter and moved onto a party to celebrate the great day.In the two generations of our tiny family of three we have undertaken degrees in India, the UK and USA, with a smattering of certificates in French and German, not forgetting the two other Indian languages my husband is able to handle apart from our mother tongue Tamil.
We enjoyed the experience and the spirit of 'we can' seen all over the city of Buffalo, despite the downturn in the economy. My one regret? President Obama arrived in Buffalo the day we were leaving for the airport,so we missed seeing him in person. I would have queued and waited for a chance to see him but that was not to be.

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