It’s convocation season at McGill (for my American readers, that’s Canadian for “graduation” or “commencement”). Was it five years ago already that I got my MLIS?
Apparently! And even longer ago that I got my BA. Here’s a little #ThrowbackThursday I had written a few years ago about that first graduation:
KSC. Officially these letters stand for “Keene State College”, but to my friends and me they meant “Kinda Sorta College”. It’s a good enough school if you want to study music or education. The out-of-state student body is disproportionately from Connecticut (“The University of Connecticut at Keene State College”), a fact that never failed to amuse us New Hampshire locals. The campus is right on Main Street in a city of 25,000 people. There are definitely good students and great professors, but it’s the local state school and those of us in the area saw it more as a back-up plan. It was not the kind of place I saw myself graduating from. Yet one Sunday in May there I was, doing exactly that.
My degree is in European History and French. I was inducted into both disciplines’ honor societies although I can’t say I participated in either. In fact, I forgot to go to the induction for Phi Alpha Theta! Two years in a row! I guess history really does repeat itself. But I paid my dues and got to wear honors cord at graduation, so I was happy. It’s all about the honors cords.
I arrived at the college around 11:00 a.m. to stand, herd-like, with the other graduates while we waited for the actual Commencement to commence, which I think was at 1:00 p.m. I had brought my knitting with me to help pass the time but since the chairs had been placed thisclosetogether, I decided not to risk the accidental elbow jab into my neighbors’ ribs. Happily, one of the students behind me provided snarky commentary. Boredom was kept at bay and I continued to bask in my academic superiority.
After the requisite 4,000 hours, the ceremony finally ended, after which my parents and I went out to dinner. We didn’t stay out too long; I had to go home and pack up enough stuff to stay in Québec for 3 ½ months for a summer position. I was leaving the next day, and between emptying out my dorm and just plain old procrastination, I hadn’t packed a thing.
Monday dawned bright and clear and as I woke up I remembered there were still snow tires on my car. Since it was May this was starting to be illegal (if not so already). I’m not sure when exactly it becomes illegal to have snow tires on your car in New Hampshire, but I’ve probably broken that law many times. Especially since I often have studded snow tires! Oh well. The guys at the tire place never seem to care. Driving down there and getting my tires changed added an extra hour to my schedule, which didn’t have time for that. Nor for the time it took me to clean out my car. And to get delayed at the border. And to get lost driving through Québec City. I had told my supervisor I would arrive at Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré at 4:00 p.m. I got there at 8:00 p.m.
And that was my commencement into the real world.