:: Pedantic Platitudes ::

Greetings! My name is Sam J and I am a student at Harvard University. Perhaps this blog will present a little look into the mundane yet unique events that make up my life.
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:: Wednesday, June 07, 2006 ::

Wow, I can't believe I graduate from college tomorrow. So many thoughts are going through my head... I can't express them all. Maybe I'll try once I get back home on Saturday and have some time to settle down.

The past couple of days have been a whirlwind of activity. On Tuesday, after staying up late packing, I joined my friend Alex for a lunch buffet at a local Indian restaurant. It was rushed, but I had to run off for the first official Commencement Week activity: The Baccalaureate Services, one of the oldest traditions at Harvard. We all dressed up in our caps and gowns and walked around Harvard Yard in a grand procession before ending up in Memorial Church, where the Reverend Peter Gomes welcomed us in.

Inside, we soon-to-be graduates listened to inspirational readings from a wide variety of religious texts from many different faiths, read by several students from our class. The church choir also sang. The president of Harvard, former Secretary of the Treasury Larry Summers (his signature is on US paper currency from his years serving under the Clinton administration) addressed us and gave us encouraging words of advice. It was a hot day, and our caps and gowns made us feel even hotter. Afterwards, we went outside to the steps of Widener Library for a Class of 2006 panoramic photo.

I then rushed off to the airport to pick up my parents and my sister, who are visiting this week for graduation. I helped them take luggage to their hotel and check in, and then we went downtown to have dinner at Legal Sea Foods. My parents had lobster, and I enjoyed an order of the coconut shrimp appetizer, along with a cup of New England clam chowder and half of my sister's order of the Alaskan butterfish, marinated in soy and served with a seaweed salad, light wasabi sauce, and white rice. Yum. We then went to the Cheesecake Factory and got a slice of peanut butter cup cheesecake to share. I then showed them more of downtown Boston.

When I got back to campus, I ran into some friends who were organizing a low-key get-together to play board games, so I joined them. We played "Bowl full of Names" and started a game of Trivial Pursuit. I then stayed up a little later to pack some more for my move out.

Today, I met my parents and they helped me pack some of my possessions into the empty suitcases they brought over from the hotel. At noon, we headed over to Harvard Yard to have our lunch. However, it was pouring rain like crazy, and so the outdoor Class Day picnic had to be had indoors. It was a nice sandwich lunch, and we enjoyed it inside a Science Center lecture hall.

My parents decided to stay inside and watch the afternoon Class Day speakers inside on a live video feed, but my sister and I decided to be adventurous and go out in ponchos and umbrellas into the rain to watch the speakers live. Because it was so wet outside, we were able to get second-row seats, since most people didn't want to sit out and get wet. We still got soaked despite our raingear, and it was obnoxious because the people in front of us kept dumping a lot of rainwater onto us by tipping their umbrellas back. At the event, we listened to a number of student speakers (two serious speeches (one from a male student, one from a female student) and two humorous speeches (again, one male one female). The humorous speeches were hilarious and really touched on some of the more absurd aspects of the Harvard experience, and the serious speeches were quite inspirational. My friend Molly won the competition for the female serious speech, so she delivered the one she wrote. All our friends were really proud of her.

Our featured Class Day speaker was Seth MacFarlane, the creator, producer, writer, and voice actor for the amazingly hilarious show Family Guy. His speech was amazing. He started his speech by delivering advice as himself and then said, "But, I know you all, like my mother, don't want to hear my voice... you want to hear the voices of the characters on the show..." He then started speaking in Peter Griffin's voice and gave advice as if Peter was giving a commencement speech. He then gave the floor to Stewie Griffin, who in his typical take-over-the-world attitude congratulated us with a ton of contempt, as usual. During this part he did what I consider one of Stewie's funniest routines: asking one rhetorical question after another, with his voice getting higher and higher pitched until he can't go any higher. Stewie is my favorite character. That British accent is great. And in the last part of the speech Seth did his Quagmire voice. Haha. It was amazing. It was so surreal to hear these voices outside the context of the cartoon, but his voice talents are so remarkable. I laughed a lot; I'm only sad that during his speech it rained so hard it was difficult to hear him even over the loud sound system where we were.

After the Class Day festivities, we returned to my room and dried off a bit, having gotten extremely wet at the event and walking back from it. At 5, we went to the House Master's Reception in my residential house, where parents and students could mingle and converse and enjoy snacks. The food was great; all these gourmet sandwiches (my favorite was crab salad and avocado in a croissant), desserts (fruit tarts, gooey chocolate cake, cheesecake, fresh fruit kebabs), and other amazing foods (grilled shrimp with key lime reduction sauce, pigs in a blanket, mini spanikopitas, sushi, potato pancakes). I had them all. It was nice to meet all my friends' parents who were in town for graduation. My parents enjoyed meeting my friends, too.

After the reception, we went to the mall, where I needed to redeem a gift certificate for a large amount which was given to me. I didn't expect another chance to go to this particular mall before I left Boston, so I had to get it done. I ended up using it to get a present for my father for the upcoming Father's Day.

I then came back to my room after my parents returned to their hotel and continued to pack some more. Now, I have to go to bed "early" because tomorrow I have to get up at 6 a.m. because it's Commencement Day, and I'm going to get my Harvard degree. Sooo excited!!!

Quote(s) of the Day: "Sam J is part of my pussy... I mean, posse."

"I'm like Mary Malady - worse than Debbie Downer - Would you like to hear about my parasitic infestation? Or my septic shoulder infection???"

:: SL 10:37 PM [+] ::

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