Another graduation, another weekend of family misadventure!
Over the weekend, the entire family tree bound its branches together and headed to Schenectady, NY for my little brother’s graduation from Union College. Now, I may have had my troubles with upstate New York in weeks past, but believe me, the Capital District makes Binghamton and Ithaca look like turn-of-the-twentieth-century Paris.
This is chiefly because the students at Union know how to party. From the time we arrived, the revelry was fairly consistent. We’d later learn from my brother that this had been the case for the preceding seven days. Arriving on the earlier side, I joined my brother and his housemates for their World Cup viewing party. We had a little hotel cocktail hour once all the rellies had arrived a few hours later, and that was followed by an open bar and buffet for graduating football players and their families.
The soon-to-be graduates were, of course, going to keep the party going strong well into the wee hours of morning. I decided, despite the open invitation from my brother and his housemates, that I was too old for that. That sentiment was not shared by two of my cousins, who joined in with reckless abandon. That would have been all well and good…if we had been able to find them the next morning. As it was, they only surfaced–groggy, hair in knots, wearing the same clothes as the night before–five minutes before the academic procession began.
That procession was yet another example of how freakin’ sweet my brother’s school is. The graduating class walks in through this ginormous and utterly ridiculous feat of engineering called the Nott Memorial, the northern hemisphere’s only sixteen-sided building. I shit you not. They’re led by a class officer wielding an enormous flag bearing their class year. Oh, and before all that, they’re proceeded by the entire faculty, administration, and a dozen bagpipes. Yes, bagpipes.
The ceremony was nice. The Union Class of 2010 may have had crappy weather, but they had great speakers. Personally, I think the latter’s more important. After the class processed out through a column of applauding faculty (aww…), we popped open the bubbly outside the gates of the football field, symbolically joining my brother’s two primary extracurricular activities as one.
A particularly indulgent lunch with his housemates and their families followed, with an awesome cake to close things out, and then we were all on our way home. All of us, that is, except for my brother. He hardly had to pack a bag, because he was accepted into Union’s graduate college to get his master’s in education. Classes started yesterday. A buzz kill? Perhaps, but even he admits that the partying had to come to an end.
So, here’s to you, little brother. You continually amuse and amaze me.
P.S: I should note that for his college graduation, my brother wore beneath his robe a collared shirt, a tie, gym shorts, and flip-flops. Upending convention until the very end.