Friday, June 19, 2009
Graduation, last night. My sweet son, my
chef-to-be who has overcome obstacle
after obstacle in his 23 years, my Certified Culinarian
and possessor of Associate of Applied Science Degree
in Restaurant and Food Service Production
& Catering and Banquet Operations.
Phew. That was a mouthful.
There was no rarified air in the auditorium
at South Seattle Community College: this was
a ceremony celebrating the working classes, the
newly immigrated, the single moms, those students
who attained their transfer degrees at community
college prices before plunking down the Big Bucks
at a university. I can't remember exactly how many
varying languages were being spoken around me,
only that there were many. It was a veritable
United Nations of students and their families,
an accurate representation, I believe, of the world
And so much joy! Of course I cried when the band
(well, okay, it was recorded) played Pomp & Circumstance:
I have my sentimental moments.
The address by the Student Body President
included the 1997 piece by Chicago newspaper columnist
Mary Schmich -- most of us have heard this
ad nauseum, but hearing it again after many
years, well, was just about perfect.
And listening to it sitting beside Nelson,
with Reilly in front of us capped-and-gowned
& awaiting his diploma, couldn't have been better,
especially these lines:
Get to know your parents. You never know when
they'll be gone for good. Be nice to your siblings.
They're your best link to your past and the people
most likely to stick with you in the future.
Afterwards, we had a late dinner at Tamarind Tree,
a Vietnamese restaurant (with its 23-page menu!)
in the International District. I can't remember
when I had more fun, or when I was more in
my element -- dining out with two of my biggest
fans, with two of my favorite people on the planet,
on one of the happiest evenings of my life.