Katie, Diane, Joe, Ronni and Ben.
We had a great weekend in Maine for Joe's graduation from Bates.
It's hard to believe. Seems like only yesterday that he was a little boy in a white cap and gown, graduating from kindergarten. I'm going to dig out that photo and post it along with one from yesterday.
He had a wonderful college experience, making many friends, playing hockey and doing well academically in the face of adversity. It was during his sophomore year that I almost died. He repeatedly drove more than two hours to Boston that snowy, cold winter; one time he had just returned to school and had to turn around and drive back to the hospital upon getting a call that I might not make it through the night.
He persevered with grace and a sense of humor, putting in a lot of hard work. I'm very proud of him, and of the other two also. I loved being there all together. Diane came too, and I was happy to have her there.
The graduation ceremony itself was short and sweet.
President Elaine Hansen began with a Garry Trudeau quote: "Commencement speeches were invented largely in the belief that outgoing college students should never be released into the world without being properly sedated."
By way of bucking that trend, instead of one speaker, the three recipients of honorary degrees spoke briefly. Most audience members didn't know them, but the format worked out well. They were:
Frank Glazer, Bates artist-in-residence and lecturer and an internationally known pianist; Evelynn Hammonds, Dean of Harvard and a scholar on the intersection of race and medicine; and Robert S. Langer, an MIT researcher who did ground-breaking work on cancer treatment.
I'm writing this from Diane's house in Newton. We have to be at the hospital at 6 a.m. tomorrow for the surgery on my tongue. It's scheduled for 7:30, and I'll probably be ready to leave around 2 p.m. More on that later.