December 6th, 2008
Once again, we had our graduation ceremony at the college. This is the 20th we've had since I started, and I have attended all but one or two, when illness made attending impossible. But for me, this one was supposed to be a special case: as a once-in-a-blue-moon situation, I am acting head of the branch campus, the Academic Coordinator, while we have a graduation ceremony. This would have been the first time in five or six years--and maybe the only time ever again--where I would have the ability to lead the commencement ceremony, and hand out degrees. Also landing on the tenth anniversary since my first one, I was very much looking forward to it. However, the best laid plans of mice and men are all too easily derailed by a stray virus picked up from the class or office at the outset of chilly winter days. When we had to set the speaker in print last night, there was little hope that my throat would be in shape--it was gravelly all day yesterday, and these things almost never clear up. And, as it happened, I would not have been in shape anyway. Major bummer. I was, as I mentioned, very much looking forward to it. However, the ceremony went very well with my on the sidelines, and our traditional after-party went just as well. We got a bigger-than-usual hall this time. The Hyatt Regency serves up a delicious buffet, the Bingo game is always fun, and student performers really put on a show. One popular set of acts came from the Hula Club--three dance numbers, and these ladies do a spectacular job. Afterwards, a group did a dance number based upon a dance done at fishing festivals; from what I was told, this was popularized by an episode of Kimpachi Sensei, a Japanese TV show from long ago, often revived, like Doctor Who (which, coincidentally, I was able to discuss with a student at length--we shared an interest). Later, the Guitar Club put on a performance which was very nice. I did get some stage time, introducing many of the students who won awards for their participation in school activities and responsibilities. A great group of kids we're seeing off this year.