Here are a few photos from Sunday’s commencement at SU.

SU Graduation 2009 - Ceremony

SU Graduation 2009 - Jumbotron Biden

As I mentioned last time, Joe Biden was the speaker. He started with Sinatra’s line that “Orange is the happiest color,” and suggested that Sinatra must have had SU in mind when he said it. Biden told about his graduation from SU in 1968, contextualizing events occurring around the time of his commencement and gradually establishing a bridge between 1968 and the present moment. Graduating during times of great uncertainty uniquely positions you to shape the world at whatever scale you will (i.e., oftentimes this shaping grows from small, principled deeds, from being one who “was not made to look the other way”). He also expressed his strong sense of loyalty to Syracuse University because Syracuse ties have helped him through some of the greatest challenges he has faced. Interjected within these two aspects of his address were references to his father’s advice: when you get knocked down, “get up.”

This summary is the best I could do without notes. And I dedicate it to Sleepy Pete, who appears in the photo above not to be paying attention to the VP.

SU Graduation 2009 - Greeted by Nancy Cantor

Other than those awarded honorary degrees, doctoral candidates were the only group introduced by name and called across the stage. D. snapped this photo of the best the jumbotron could to do capture Chancellor Nancy Cantor and me in the same frame.

SU Graduation 2009 - At HBC with Faculty

After the ceremony, I was fortunate to catch up with professors Lois Agnew and Eileen Schell who waited with D. and Ph. outside HBC for this photo–“fortunate” because temperatures dropped sharply into the 40s during the ceremony, so milling around outdoors wasn’t as appealing as it might have been on a warmer May afternoon.

This Flickr slideshow has a few more photos from the weekend’s events.

Mater’s Day Weekend

No telling whether you’ll be able to see me walking across the platform during
tomorrow’s graduation ceremony in the Carrier Dome, but I’ll be there, walking,
in any case (with the qualification “diss. defense imminent”). The web site mentions

streaming video
, which ought to start around 10 a.m., just about the time
the event gets going. Vice President Joe Biden, an SU alumnus, is giving
the commencement address. I’m looking forward to it, even if it means additional security screening and an earlier start to the morning.

Also here’s a photo from last night’s hooding ceremony in Goldstein

A Condition

A letter came home from Ph.’s school beginning, “Dear Nottingham Seniors and Families.” In it, a list of reminders, three bulleted items, and the third one is this:

Please beware of “senioritis”. Senioritis is a condition that happens to good kids in the spring semester of their senior year. It is contagious and the symptoms are not sometimes obvious at first. Students with senioritis are not focused, demonstrate a sudden lack of interest, and they find it difficult to complete and follow through regarding simple tasks. Senioritis will pass but the consequences may be devastating, i.e. not graduating, not being accepted in your school of choice, etc.

Were I not myself “find[ing] it difficult to complete and follow through regarding simple tasks,” the next part of this blog entry was going to be a snarky blow-by-blow analysis noting how the senioritis bullet appears next to clip art of a stethoscope and doctor’s bag. It was going to have a witty joke about how nobody is using doctor’s bags or medical instruments these days to diagnose the affliction and also something about what a damnable shame it is that the most devastating consequences from this “sudden lack of interest” are centered on the student and only the student insofar as it may keep you from your school of choice, or worse, from graduating altogether.

Anyway, beware of this and other stuff and such.