Sunday, March 29, 2009

Graduation and Other Stuff

Yay! I graduated. I like this blurry picture of me, taken just after receiving my diploma, because it is kind of mysterious, kind of symbolic of the rushing around I've been doing since living in New York, this city of constant motion. I'm still working hard to move forward, and never let life get too stagnant. Also, I like this picture because it reminds me of that one famous photo of Bigfoot, which is so blurry that you can't really tell if its Bigfoot or a guy in a suit.

Anyway, so it has been a tremendously busy week. I have not had a full night's sleep since Monday or Tuesday, and my bedroom looks like a hurricane passed through it, immediately followed by an earthquake. Sigh... I'll clean it tomorrow!

As soon as I returned from North Carolina, my time was taken up with the execution of the Relief Society Birthday Dinner that I was in charge of at church. In my ward, I'm the Enrichment Leader, which means that I am in charge of planning and carrying out all the activities of the Relief Society, which is the women's organization of the church. The Relief Society was organized in March of 1842, so every year LDS women celebrate in March, often with a nice dinner. Well, the dinner we had here in Harlem on Thursday night was nothing like the wonderful (=gourmet food, enchantingly lit, every detail painstakingly executed by hand) dinners that Alisa, DanaLee, Janet, and I used to put together in Chapel Hill, but it was still lovely. The theme was "Food for the Soul" and because there are so many amazing cooks in the ward, we had a potluck dinner of soul-food dishes. The spread was amazing! Homemade fried chicken, collard greens with bacon, homemade macaroni and cheese, cornbread, beans and rice, ham and potatoes... It sounds like ordinary food, I guess, but in the hands of my Harlem sisters, it was the most delicious feast! Especially the banana pudding someone made for dessert. We ate, had a few speakers give spiritual messages about feeding our spirits as well as our bodies, and about the history of the Relief Society. Then, more socializing, swapping recipes, birthday cake, and lots of helpful women cleaning up afterwards. I love my ward, and the women in it. They amaze me with their willingness to serve and help, and their friendliness and love.

Meanwhile, I'm about to gouge my eye out, because I think one of my contact lenses is scratched, and it is constantly irritating my eye. Just wear your glasses, you say. Well, my glasses prescription is about ten years old, plus I hate my glasses, so I have just been suffering with the painful contact lens. No time to find a doctor and get a new prescription. Finally, on Thursday I broke down and tried ordering new lenses online, thinking that maybe if I put it in as a rush order, they would overlook the fact that my contact lens prescription is over a year old and honor it anyway. And it worked! But so much for the rush--I called on Friday and they said the lenses would come on Monday. Ugh! Somehow I will survive until then...

On Friday my dad came to town and we had some more soul food when we went out to eat at Amy Ruth's down on 116th Street in Harlem. I had heard good things about it--and it was truly delicious! The wait was long, and the service slow, but it was Friday night and the place was packed. And it was fine, because it gave me, E, and Daddy a lot of time to talk. There has been much to talk about, too! Some current family drama is keeping us all worried. Sigh...

Saturday morning was my graduation! I had to be there super early for picture taking, so my dad and E came later. It was so fun to see all of my classmates again--some girls I haven't seen since last May. It was just like old times, as if we had just come from a class on 17th century portraiture or a museum visit. We caught up on each others lives, met each others families, and laughed at the ridiculousness of our graduation gowns. For some reason we had to be there two hours early, but the only thing we did was have a group photo taken. By the time the ceremonies began, I was starving, and wishing I'd stashed some snacks inside the bizarre flaps on my graduation gown. But I survived, received my "diploma" (the real thing will come later in the mail, and I had fun tricking E by making a fuss of unrolling it, only to reveal a blank piece of paper!), as well as an honorary auctioneer's gavel, and completely enjoyed graduation. And miraculously, for the whole morning, my eye didn't hurt! It was a graduation miracle. But now it hurts again.

Afterwards me and the family went out to lunch nearby, enjoying a beautiful sunny spring day. Daffodils, crocuses, and hyacinths are in bloom everywhere! We made our way home, changed clothes, and then went to see the Brooklyn Bridge. My dad just finished reading "The Great Bridge" by David McCullough, which tells the story of the Roeblings, and how the bridge was built. It is an amazing story, and it is wonderful to see the bridge still standing, 125 years later, with the same steel cables, controversial in their time, still holding it up, no problem.

Other than that little bit of sight-seeing, my dad and I have just been taking it easy now, sitting around the house eating food, watching movies, and having "laptop club" as E puts it, with me and Dad typing away on our laptop computers in the living room--he reading political news articles, and me posting pics on facebook or trying to blog. It's nice to just sit around and do nothing much, after such a busy week. I'm so happy to have my dad here, and happy to finally be graduated!
Here is a picture of E taking pictures on the Brooklyn Bridge.


Marcus said...

Yeah!! Congratulations on graduating!

jeff said...

Hmm, the only time I went to Amy Ruth's was also a Friday, but we didn't have to wait at all. I had the Al Sharpton.

We often hold laptop club meetings at my apartment too. Way to go on graduating, Master Anderson.

Lady Holiday said...

Thanks, guys!

Lis said...

Aw. That memory made me smile. And feel tired. And remember how we ran out of shrimp that one time.

Congrats to you!