Sunday, January 17, 2010

Done & Done (But Not Really...)

January 16, 2010, I walked onto stage, hugged the director of Bennington Writing Seminars, Sven Birkerts, and I bent my knees (unnecessarily) so that the Dean could place a medieval-looking hood around my neck, a symbol of completion and acceptance into a hard-won academic circle.
I remember when I attended my first graduation ceremony, watching the hoods awarded to my friends and people I didn't get the chance to know, thinking the whole thing seemed religious and, to be honest, a bit creepy. But, having been hooded myself now, I understand the necessity of ceremony. After all, graduate school is damn-tempting to drop out of, especially if the program is especially challenging (which Bennington was, for me). And those of us who tough it out, well, we deserve a damn hood.
The ceremony was lovely. There was music, dancing, tulips passed to teachers, hugs from the director, humorous speeches and serious speeches, and finally, a killer chocolate cake that made me want to find the pastry chef and tell him or her that my only goal in life was to find the right combination of words, to make just one person savor my stories as I savored that cake. (And I'm not even a cake person.)
So, before I begin to freak out about what's next, I'll cut this post short, allow that it was all worth it.


  1. Congratulations! I'm looking forward to seeing the fruits of your learning. :)

  2. Well done. You deserve all the ceremonial cakes and robes and tulips and dances.

  3. Congratulations, Jen. How about a 'high five'.
    And to think this is just the beginning.
    The best of good wishes to you!

  4. Congratulations! Looking forward to seeing the outcome of this great accomplishment.

  5. Thank you, thank you, thank you! Shout outs, high fives all around, way too much celebratory chocolate cake ... And Marty, me too!

  6. Congratulations, Jen!


  7. Congratulations. The ceremony, the degree and your discipline are all impressive.


Observations: Dublin Vacation

Dublin seemed the obvious destination. We would be close to various restaurants and tourist attractions. It would be easy to call a cab or...