Back from LA!
posted at 5/19/2009 10:52 AM EDT
Good morning all Chat friends,
So, we are back from LA. I am still floating in dream land. We had 4 wonderful days attending our son's commencement. These 4 days were absolutely beautiful and emotional.
Mr. P and I arrived Wednesday around noontime, but since we all came in at different times, we spent the day going back and forth to the airport. The "graduate" didn't come until 10pm and we had to go and pick up his gown at his lab. A friend of his was kind enough to pick it up for him, before the book store closed.
The next morning we had to be on campus at 7 am for the Hooding Ceremony. Partially for our son to check in and partially for us to get a parking space and a good seat. So I was up at 4:30 to iron a gown. Believe me, it was a challenge with all the folds.
The Hooding Ceremony was the most memorable of the the entire commencement. Every PhD candidate went up on stage and was hooded by their advisor/professor. Lots of hugs and tears.
That evening we took all our son's lab colleges/friends out for dinner. 14 in all. Such a nice bunch of young men. We went to an all-you-can eat Korean Barbecue. It was wonderful. They serve you a huge plate of whatever meat you want with tons of sides. You cook everything yourself on burners on your table. A great choice for a large group. Mr. P and I were delighted to meet all our son's friends - such a nice bunch.
The next day was the main commencement. Again we had to be there at at least at 7am. The commencement was outside. The campus is just beautiful. Everything get spruced up for this event. Red and yellow flowers (the USC's colors) were abundant everywhere. Everything that a paint brush could touch had a new coat of paint.
We were lucky to get a parking space on campus and good seats close up front. But it really didn't matter b/c there were speakers and large TV screens all over.
There were over 6000 students graduating. PhDs, Masters and Bachelors.
The main commencement speaker, who also got an honorary degree - was Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. He was absolutely fantastic. I did not expect much from him. But he was funny and spoke to the heart of the young people. He didn't speak as the Governor or the Terminator, but he spoke as Arnold. He did win some brawny points from me.
After the ceremony, there was a luncheon at the Computer Science Department for it's students and their guests. So we had a delicious lunch there. Great food - not the usual boring pasta salad. A nice touch I thought.
That afternoon there was a ceremony for the graduates in the Engineering Department. That was a ceremony we could have missed. So boring.
In the evening we went for Thai food - one of our son's favorite places. They have an "Elvis" performing. Great food again. Of course we had our son order - and we were not disappointed. We went to bed and decided NO ALARM clock the next morning.
The following morning we got up whenever. We went for Dim Sum in Chinatown and met with friends of our sons from back here in Boston, who have now settled in LA.
Then we went to Disney Land. Haha! We just wanted to relax and get all the official "dust" öff our shoulders. Had a wonderful time there. My favorite is "It's a Small World". The family sans me - was doing all the rides, while I was watching their cameras and such. Such a great day.
And of course the good things always have an end. But we all left with such good memories. Only negative part was, that after several days of tripping around, my arthritis really reminded me. My hips gave out. At Disney, I could barely walk, but the "kids" had a great time - and that was a pleasure for me.
Now we are back, and I spend yesterday resting and doing laundry. Today I will be back at the office and the daily rut begins, but these past 4 days will stay in my memory forever.
I know this was long. Just hope I didn't bore you too much - Pingo