No movement on selling the house yet but we have other reasons to celebrate; our son, Ethan, graduated from San Francisco State yesterday.
As the proud parents that we are, we certainly think that his college graduation is an event worthy of parades, flyovers and fireworks, but given the budget cuts in public education, my expectations for the way that SFSU would honor its graduates were pretty low.
I imagined the commencement planning meeting at SFSU in which they discussed that since there wasn’t any money left in this year’s budget for a proper ceremony, a few SFSU staffers would be assigned to go to Safeway on Saturday morning and buy a couple of potted plants to set on the stage as decoration. And chairs? Forget it. This year’s commencement would be festival-style seating on the grass at Cox Stadium.
So when we arrived early at the stadium and saw thousands of white folding chairs precisely lined up on the grass, a beautifully decorated stage lined with hundreds of chrysanthemums, and a jumbo screen so that everyone in the stadium could watch close-ups of the graduates and perhaps catch a glimpse of their loved one getting his or her diploma on the big screen, it was awesome.
We got our programs, found our seats and I did what I’m sure every other parent does: quickly scan the list of graduates to make sure that their son or daughter’s name is really there. Whew, I found it – that makes it official, he really is a college graduate.
We had lots of time before the ceremony and it was a spectacularly beautiful day in San Francisco so we strolled the campus that was swarming with graduates fluttering to-and-fro in their purple caps and gowns. It was so much fun to watch the them having photo opps with their families or laughing with their buddies. Talk about pride and joy on everyone’s faces.
When the graduates filed in and I looked out on the sea of more than 4,000 purple robes, I couldn’t help but wonder what was next for all of them. But before I let myself get too far down the path of worry for my own graduate sitting among them…will he be able to find a job, pay off his student loans and have more than $2.35 in his checking account by the end of the month…I stopped myself and put my fears aside. It was a day to be celebrated and savored.