Monday, August 27, 2007

Sappy Stuff

The master's cap and gown with those weird wing sleeve thingies. (A link to a pretty detailed hisotry of what all the patterns and colors mean.)

Update 1 (August 29, 2007 @ 10:43pm): I picked up my graduation gear from the cleaners and I still can't figure out what color that damn hood is.


p.s. It's now Thursday morning and, yes, it's peacock blue. There is no way it's aqua. I wonder has anyone every been vain enough to choose a major based on the hood color? I say this because music master's get to wear a pink hood. I'm jealous.


I picked up my cap and gown today for my graduation cerimony. I have both Aqua Marine and Peacock Blue pictured as I really have no idea which color the hood is. I took the whole ensemble to the dry cleaners tonight, so I'll figure it out when I pick it up from the cleaners.

The cerimony will be this Friday for all you stalkers out there. I just figure that most of you will have a very long way to travel to stalk me so, I'm good. Plus, you'd still have to figure out the time and location ;)

I was filled with some sappy emotions trying my graduation cap and gown ensemble on. I was conversing with my department's administrative assistant. It was kind of bittersweet after all of the grief I caused for my department and, at times, this particular assistant.

My last year I realized the direct approach doesn't work quite as well as indirect here in the Land of the Morning Calm. I changed my strategy and got on much better than I did my first year. That was crucial as my first year I didn't work, but I went back to work my second year which means I didn't have time for stress. I work in Gyeonggi-do, the county surrounding Seoul. I commute about 45 minutes to an hour or more depending on traffic. When I changed jobs the commute changed but it's still around one hour. A softer touch meant a softer landing for me this year.

Graduating is cool in that I've earned some sort of award. Each department has one student getting a special award of some sort during the cerimony and my department will be with a few others in one big cerimony. Honestly, I'm still not quite sure what kind of award exactly. It seems none can really describe it in a way that I understand and I've yet to see the name of the award in Korean, so I'm at a loss to ask anyone else about it. However, from how they describe it, it seems to be the Korean equivalent of valedictorian for my department. At least, that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

I've also earned best thesis for my class. Now that was one in which I definitely had an unfair advantage as I was the lone native English speaker working on one this term. I think just in terms of grammar, structure and writing style I had the best one. I have the advantage of having been published while in law school which means the one thing I can do quite well is academic writing. Plus, I'd mulled over topic and content forever and did tons of research, so it was clear I'd put a fair amount of work into it. Here in Korea I noticed that even theses are put off to the last minute, whereas I completely geeked out and pretty much lived in the library on the weekends last term.

What was sad for me was hearing that I'd earned these honors and immediately thinking about my parents. I'll write it in Korean and you can go to Bablefish or somewhere else to translate it. I started writing this earlier today and stopped here. However, in Korean I'm so focused on getting the grammar right that I can turn off the emotions.

제 부모님을 돌아가셨어요.

What that means was upon hearing the news the first people I wanted to tell I couldn't. At least, not literally. That led to some tears. What that means is there are going more tears that I won't be very comfortable explaining during the cerimony. The event itself will shield me as most will assume I'm merely sentimental and über-mopey.

From the fun point of view, I did bust out my toy lightsaber for my law school commencement. I've got to admit, if I had it here I'd probably take it again. The Koreans wouldn't be happy, but I would be walking with a mark of my geekiness and that would make me happy ;)

Anyway, a new semester of work starts for me tomorrow and I need to get some sleep, so I can be that alert and somewhat chipper instructor.


P.S. Yeah, and no comments on this one.

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