On May 24th, on three hours of sleep and full of bittersweet memories, I was handed my degree. As the entire degree is written in Latin, I’m taking their word that it is actually my degree and not just a piece of paper saying “Thanks for the two hundred grand, sucker!” signed by Dean Austin and Father Boroughs. Humor aside, it was a beautiful ceremony and came on the heels of an even more touching Baccalaureate Mass on the preceding day. The mass had its moment of levity too as the homilist, Father Savard, told the story of my friend Jake falling asleep in the Jesuit graveyard and scaring the daylights out of two passing girls when he woke up! What Fr. Savard didn’t mention was that Jake was dressed as one of the Blues Brothers as the night in question was Halloween!
My friend Margaret’s mother was smart enough to organize a party at the Italian restaurant Buca di Beppo, which sits on the river over by UMass Medical Center. It was a wonderful way to talk to members of my friends’ families that I’ve come to know over the past few years. Afterwards came the Baccalaureate Ball in Kimball Hall, a wonderful event colored only by the fact that it was blazing hot (every graduation event on campus was colored by this fact). We managed to have a good time anyways and danced until after midnight.
The night preceding graduation and graduation day were duly emotional as everyone started to realize that we were leaving the Hill forever. It struck me then that, if my degree really wasn’t an important credential (maybe not if it just read ‘thanks for the money, sucker’), I wouldn’t much mind. In my four years at Holy Cross, I’ve gotten deep into two unfamiliar languages, written an eighty-page thesis, become a better writer, (somewhat) more numerate, picked up bits of philosophy, theology, music and literature, seen Europe and made friends that will likely last past last week’s graduation. All in all, I did what I went there to do. It is time to move on to other things.
For me, moving on means moving home. I found a job in Hartford (I will start as an associate in Aetna’s Marketing, Product and Communications development program next week) and am back in my childhood bedroom for the time being. When I was eighteen, I didn’t have a good sense of where I’d fit in at Holy Cross but as I graduate am absolutely sure that Political Science was the right course for me there. I imagine that at twenty-five I’ll better know what the place for me is in the wider world.
I don’t imagine I’ll stay on as a blogger on this page; I feel lucky to have had the opportunity to do this for two years and thank those at the Office of Public Affairs who made it possible. As I said in my sign-off last year, thank you to all readers: it’s been a pleasure to write. AMDG.