Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Convoking a Convocation

We weren't allowed to throw our hats.
I hid behind some trees and did it anyway...
I went to my convocation last week. What in the world is a convocation you ask?

noun \ˌkän-və-ˈkā-shən\
a. The act of convoking.
b. A group of people convoked, especially the members of a college or university community who are assembled for a ceremony.

I love when dictionary definitions require you to look up the definition of another word just to understand the first one, like it's purposefully challenging your intelligence. To convoke means "to call (a meeting, assembly, etc.) together; summon." When you are summoned you feel greatly compelled to go to your summonses, otherwise you might end up in court.

After going to the wrong place trying to find my regalia, then going to the wrong classroom for the rehearsal, you would think this would worry me. Au contraire. It was extremely satisfying to know I was finishing just as I had started: not knowing where the heck to go. Five minutes before the ceremony started they told us that if we hadn't paid our fees or there were any outstanding problems, we wouldn't receive our degree. I was dumbfounded. You're telling me, the university is going to let some schmuck get up there in his gown and cap and inform him it was a false alarm? I have to believe that sometime between then and the five minutes before we were going on stage, somebody, somewhere would pull that guy out of line and tell him the bad news. My question is: how the heck did he get this far in the process (and why is he automatically a boy)?

I had been mourning the fact that graduation was not going to be what I had always imagined it would be, what movies made it out to be and what other departments who were with the same people throughout their program were probably experiencing. There were only two people I knew who were graduating with me and I don't think they would have reacted well if I started jumping up and down like a school girl (because that would be the last time I could use that expression legitimately) and giving them hugs and kisses. But I was feeling disappointed and lonely so I prayed and God showed me how to enjoy it for what it was, not for what it wasn't. He put me next to a very nice girl I hadn't met before but who was also in the writing program and this year the Christian chaplain was picked to say the prayer. She called on "the Prince of Peace" and I felt like God was telling me He was with me. I also felt like I was walking into The Phantom of the Opera when the opening music was played and I can only assume the guy playing the very old organ was trying to scare off any graduates at the last minute (university is all about weeding out the weaklings). I automatically "put my hand at the level of my eye" to block any strangling attempts, because if the UVic phantom was going to make his move it would be then people. But no worries, once you had passed that test (I got a B), the guys from Hogwarts showed up in their medieval, wizard looking outfits and played some music obviously inspired by Harry Potter. I turned to the girl next to me I had just made friends with and said, "Do you feel like you're in Hogwarts?" She said, "YES!" The Chancellor, aka Dumbledore, even had a purple Sorting Hat that he tapped on our heads before we got our degrees. Any minute they were going to call out, "Faith Blenkin, Griffindor!"

You can watch me gradauate in the UVic convocation video here but I don't know why you would. It is the longest video in the world and the first half of it is full of ponds and grass. I wouldn't make my worst enemy watch it. I am in it for point-two seconds (skip to 107:34).

Friday, June 15, 2012

The Bike Riding Diaries

Today three things made me happy on my bike ride home:
1. An elderly couple riding a bicycle built for two. When you're old, you need a little help.
2. A group of people standing in a huddle dressed up as knights in shining armor. I looked for a camera but didn't see one... I think they just enjoy dressing up as knights.
3. A man who biked in front of me for half the way home without once touching his handles bars. Wait you thought that was the interesting part? No, it was the fact that he used his spare hand time to do bird calls and flap his arms around in a dance(?) as people passed him. By pass him, I mean bikers going the opposite way because despite not using his hands he still somehow managed to bike faster than everyone else... as he did bird calls... and arm flapping (I distinctly heard a bird that sounded like an owl call back). Needless to say, it made me very, very happy. I was also happy to see he was dressed like a professional biker, not some shirtless hippy without a helmet like you were previously imagining.

One thing didn't:
1. Stupid boys in a truck howled at me as they passed by and almost gave me a heart attack. I wouldn't have minded if it was a suggestive howl like they saw passed the biking outfit and my brother's old helmet to the beautiful person inside. But it was definitely an "I'm going to make you crash into oncoming traffic and laugh" howl. How rude. And exhilarating.