I’m Done! (Part I)

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It’s been a little while since I’ve posted here but I’m hoping that you’ll forgive me.

After four years, countless trips back and forth to Cambridge, endless nights spent staying up late to finish assignments, and a general lack of downtime, I can say that I’m happy to report I received my bachelor’s degree on Jun 4th at the Harvard 2009 Commencement.

So I took a nice long vacation to celebrate.

Although there is so much to tell you all, I’m going to be brief and include just a few photos from the event.

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Morning Exercises

I arrived at 51 Brattle Street right on time at 7am.  This was a bit of a challenge since I was traveling with family.  One thing that’s isn’t quite apparent is that the actual morning exercises don’t really start until 10am.  Those three hours are needed to get everyone into their seats and in the right positions.  If your family is coming with you, remind them of that.  People were lining up to get seats in Tercentenary Theatre early that morning.  Once you get into the yard, it’s going to be a long wait for everything to get started.

We had to walk from 51 Brattle Street to a staging location right behind Sever Hall.  They counted us out at 51 Brattle Street and made sure that we were all “present and accounted for” and then had us hang out in the courtyard behind the building while we enjoyed some refreshments.

One nice thing was meeting up with a couple of former classmates of mine from EXPOs E-25.  Out of the 16 or so classmates that I had from that class, only those two were there to graduate.  I can only assume that some of my classmates didn’t complete the ALB program or were still working on the degree.  I can’t imagine anyone getting it done faster.  It felt like I was burning the candle at both ends for the past four years.

Once we received the go-ahead, we made the walk to Sever Hall.   This was pretty fun, since we got to mingle and see all of the graduating members from the other schools.  It’s amazing how many people graduate from Harvard every year and there was a wide variety of academic regalia on display.  Members from the Harvard Business School, the Graduate School of Education, the Divinity School, and the Graduate School of Design were just some of the groups I saw as we moved to Sever Hall.

It seemed like we were lined up behind Sever for an eternity.  Of course, this is just a by product of the massive operation involved in making sure that everyone is in place for the final walk into the ceremony.  A comparison between the arrangement of military forces preparing an invasion and the process of getting everyone in place for Commencement wouldn’t be too far off the mark.  Before we actually got to take our seats, the view was one of a black-robed army.

Finally, we arranged ourselves in a column two-abreast and walked into the Theatre.  Almost from the beginning, we were walking past everyone’s families snapping photos and saying congratulations.  There were a LOT of folks there!  It really was a fun time!

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Reaching our seats was a little comical.  The seats are so close together that anyone with any sense of personal space is bound to feel a bit squeezed.  Adding yards of flowing fabric to our predicament didn’t exactly help matters either.  Getting up or sitting down involved much gathering of gown and profuse apologies for sitting down on someone else’s robe.  We all took it in good humor.

Then, once we were all in our seats, the fun began…

….stay tuned for Part II!

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2 Responses to I’m Done! (Part I)

  1. Ron Newman says:

    Congratulations!

    I found your blog by searching for pages about CSCI E-168, the Ruby on Rails class. How was this for you, and do you recommend it?

  2. richard says:

    Ya. Definitely take E-168. It’s an awesome class.

    Just be aware that you’ll need to reserve a significant amount of time tinkering with Ruby to get the work done. You’ll need to really devour the documentation for Ruby on Rails in order to really pick it all up and do well in the class.

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