I picked up my graduation regalia yesterday. I brought it home to hang it up, and then decided to try it on, just for size. (I don't think I've ever used that phrase literally before!) I looked at myself in the mirror, and it felt weird. As in, do I really get to be the spiffy kind of person who can wear this stuff at ceremonies now? Also, the velvet tam is kind of stiff, and doesn't look as dorkily bad-ass as the tams I recall seeing on my professors at my undergrad graduation ceremony.
I feel a mild degree of shame that I really wish I could buy my own regalia, but then I've already mentioned my bourgeois consumerist impulses. I have my eye on tropical wool, which I'm guessing would be the most versatile. (Lectureship at Cambridge? Check. Endowed chair at the American University of Beirut? Check.) Someday.
I think looking at myself wearing the whole get-up spooked me a little, because a few hours later, I felt goaded into calling DOU's grad school office and double-checking with them that there remained nothing else for me to do. No more forms to fill out? No more bills to pay? (I really asked this!) I was frank with the receptionist about my paranoia of running afoul of the bureaucracy, and she kindly examined my information on the computer and assured me that I was fine, and there really wasn't anything else to do but show up to the ceremony.
The last eight years of my life have been devoted in one way or another to satisfying the demands that DOU placed upon me. It's a little hard to adjust to the idea that there's really nothing else to do but attend the party, and then leave. (And, of course, carefully return the regalia a few days after the ceremony.)
1 year ago