Hello, internet. I am writing this in my departure gate at JFK, feeling so tired I could cut loose and float away like a balloon. I begin to suspect it is the horrible harsh exhaustion of my body saying, okay, law school, moving out, four days in Manhattan in the pouring rain, being nice to family in CT all very well, but for god's sake GO HOME AND SLEEP NOW.
I am going home to sleep now.
Actually, internet, I am rather dreading it.
Um. So, I graduated! There was that. The ceremony was in the pouring rain, and a red-gowned warmly-lit contrast to my very staid, proper, weighed-down-by-fur-and-tradition Oxford graduation. Not that I didn't enjoy that - crossing the floor of the Sheldonian in academic dress isn't something anyone gets to do very often - but this had a little joie de vivre. It wasn't in alphabetical order, so you could gather up with your friends and giggle in the wings when waiting, and cheer offstage when someone you knew took their degree. And, a lovely tradition: in both graduating classes, there were a few people who had had babies during their time in law school, and most of them chose to carry their little ones across the stage with them. One tiny little man was sleeping as his mum climbed the stairs, but woke up briefly in the glare of the bright lights and the gaze of hundreds of people, and promptly gave a small, regal wave, to the total delight of the audience.
The faculty speaker was.... trying. Clearly, clearly, he had taken a section from a paper or possibly a thesis and read out a section in lieu of, y'know, a speech. It was exceptionally long and tiresome and I've been to law school, I could at least follow what he was saying. (The Siren, later: "He used the word 'demos
'. Who uses 'DEMOS' in a GRADUATION SPEECH?") What the guests and small people thought, I have no idea.
The student speakers, on the other hand, were warm, funny and fond. They told anecdotes and dabbled in nostalgia, and then, with a certain embarrassed gentleness, "We turn now to United States v Carolene Products
footnote four" - to an amused murmur from the graduates and possibly groans from the rest of the auditorium.( okay, who wants to hear about law )
Afterwards we filed out into the rain and retreated to the law school to dry off, and because I made the reservation in February
we had somewhere to go out for dinner. (Apparently, dinner reservations for the undergrad graduation weekend had to be made in 2007. My mind boggles.) It was a nice dinner, but. But. Oh, I hate goodbyes. I ordered lemon souffle as dessert, and while I was eating it, Baby E looked at me reflectively and said, "Do you remember? When we'd first come? You said to me, if we're going to be friends, you should know that I eat a lot. More than anyone else you know."
"Well," I said, through the souffle, "we are friends and I do eat a lot, so there."
In lieu of actually saying goodbye, I squished her and said, when you sit down and work for the bar exam, for your PhD, whatever else you do, you child prodigy you, remember me marching into your apartment yelling about ALL WORK AND NO PLAY DULL GIRL and go get a cocktail once in a while.
I couldn't say goodbye to the Siren. We stood there and looked at each other for a moment, and then did what we always do, at the end of the evening; wave, giggle, see you soon.
Soon. I hope so.
The day after that, it rained even more. It poured and poured and poured and I was horribly fed up with everything. I had breakfast with some friends, who made me pancakes and bacon and dispatched me out more cheery into the rain, and then I managed to trek over to see livrelibre
and say a quick, rainy goodbye before I had to go home and put all my things in boxes and give them to the Salvation Army. I had about a hundred books. Thirty of them were shipped, ten given to Tobermory (I ran to the law school, gave her the books, my free-coffee stamp cards - yes, okay, so I took two semesters collecting enough for six
free cups of $5 coffee, but if her thesis proposal kicks a little more arse because I funded her caffeine habit for a week, I am okay with that) and the rest all given away. I managed, also, to pop in and say goodbye to eruthros
, and thingswithwings
, thank goodness, and I cleaned my apartment top to bottom, shipped the books, arranged for subletters and handed over my keys.
The last few days have been, okay, if not exactly restful, not law school. My parents hadn't been to New York since 1999, so the three of us had a good time even if we did emphatically get rained on. (Dear climatic conditions of the state of New York: springtime. Get with the programme, okay.) And I had a lovely, somewhat cocktail-soaked evening with macadamanaity
, swapping Doctor Who
theories (still haven't seen the last three episodes!) and laughing a lot. I wasn't keen on visiting relatives in Connecticut to be the thing I did on my last weekend in the States - Connecticut! is all green and leafy! in every bloody direction! - but oddly enough it worked out fine. I had a genius idea, and my cousin S and I drove to New Haven and picked up gamesiplay
, and the three of us had one of those unexpectedly glorious days you get sometimes when everything is in flux. The sun was shining, I was charmed by New Haven - it reminds me of Oxford, a little, and Boston, a little, and it's something all of itself, too - and certainly it's the only place I've ever been where you can eat mashed potato pizza and for this to be a good idea. So we did that, and then we went book shopping. My cousin has been long-term ill for quite a while, and after a couple of years flat on her back, she's feeling good, happy, ready to take on the world again - but has, in those two years, discovered reading. She never read as a kid, she was telling me, she never read in high school - but suddenly she's found herself in books.
I was reminded irresistibly of That Time I Read Hamlet
(and couldn't find anyone to inform that actually it's quite good
), and promised I would compile her a comprehensive list of recommendations. In the end Leigh and I went through the Yale bookstore's entire SFF section from A to Z, recommending things, and yes, basically ended up monologuing at each other. It was delightful. We finished off the day with some surprisingly-unbad chick flick and sweeties, and now it is Sunday afternoon, it is raining in New York, and my flight to the UK opens for boarding in forty minutes.
Well. Well, here's what's next.