Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Graduation as a cultural experience

I picked up my graduation gown/cap/tassel/whatever else the other day. As I did so, I found myself feeling rather conflicted about actually going through with attending graduation. From a few months out, graduation seemed like a no-brainer, a chance to make up for the fact that Jeremy and I have never been to our own graduations for any of our degrees.

Now that the ceremony is looming, however, I feel like the thesis defense was the crowning jewel of my MA, and graduation is more of an afterthought. A not entirely convenient afterthought, as it turns out. I have this baby, see, and he's not allowed into University City City Hall (say that three times fast, it's fun!) (also, this is an event in the UAE that does not allow children! Very rare), but he's nursing, which means I was facing the prospect of celebrating my graduation while hoping that my baby was not screaming for milk in my absence. I balked, and thought that maybe I should forego the ceremony after all.

My mom (who is here visiting, along with my dad and niece) talked me back into it, though. It's not just a graduation. It's a cultural experience. Who even gets to go to a graduation - their OWN graduation - in a totally foreign country? (Uh, a few hundred other students at this university, actually.) I'll get to shake the Sheikh's hand. I've already got the gown. My parents are here. Etc.

So I've decided to try to make it work. I've been talking with the necessary people to see if I can arrange to not be away from my nursing baby for five hours, but still experience the graduation ceremony. The ceremony is on Saturday. I'm hoping for the best!


jannet jackson said...

Great blog , I really love your writing style that you are using for your posts and stuff,

Hannah said...

Good luck! I hope it all works out.

Sarah Cook said...

I hope it works out too, I am interested to hear about graduation over there.

Kathy Haynie said...

Graduation is a lovely life milestone for families. Enjoy the celebration!

Liz Johnson said...

YAY! I hope it works out, too. There's something cool about being there with a bunch of other people. I'm a sucker for that kind of ritual, although I totally understand your hesitance with a nursing babe. It will work out!! I have faith that it will!

Kathy Haynie said...

P.S. I guarantee the baby will forgive you. :)

Nancy said...

Andrew's graduation at AUC also "didn't allow children" so we left ours with a babysitter only to find that that rule was mostly ignored. I almost felt silly for NOT bringing our kids. But, it might be different for you. :)

Perhaps have someone watch the baby on that cuts out travel time (but I guess you already live pretty close—maybe you can just sneak out of the ceremony for a nursing break). You'll figure something out.

Best of luck and congratulations!

Bridget said...

Yes, a bottle would be the thing, but Sterling doesn't take one and I have had the luxury of not forcing it yet. I think it will work out. The rehearsal was today and along with the regular stuff, I "rehearsed" my plan of leaving early and made sure security knows my face so they don't think I'm up to something.

Nancy, I think this no kids rule is for real...but we'll see!


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