The dinner last night was sad. Really sad. We were given a significantly smaller room--with 4 tables of eight and in the center a table of four. Someone had created a seating plan, so the whole thing had placecards etc. As we all gathered to for dinner at our respective tables, the center table of 4 remained empty. There were placesettings for the Dean, Arthur Jensen, the temporary secretary and another person from the Dean's office. No one showed. Nothing. No one.**No one from the alumni office...no one who cared beyond those who sheparded us through the maze. There was the traditional, not so good dinner served, and then the antics began.
"I'm one of the best students in my class"--Ken Hine
Ken Hine stood up, and tearfully began to wax on about ISDP Advertising, all the good from the program and how it changed lives and the world. He told us there were many things he wanted to say but he was warned not to be open about all the wrongs etc. which was good because his general pitch was depressing enough with the empty, set table in the middle of the room. Ken reminded us that there weren't even the folders with the blank piece of paper or even the lapel pins that were handed out last year. So. there was nothing to confer the degree with. To put it in the Wizard of Oz context, there was nothing to pull out of a bag to pin to your bosom. And, to be sexist about it, there was not much creative thinking about the alternatives that were all at the campus store, or Target that could have filled the role. But to give these guys credit, it was horribly consistent.
"..thinking, which is very high quality." Robert Colley
Robert Colley, the former ISDP leader from University College, (someone we don't know) stood up and talked about his love of the ISDP programs in Illustration and Advertising--and how through travel and involvement it had changed his thinking and world. I felt a bit sour as a representative of the University, this mouthing of this stuff was inappropriate as the program is in the process of major shut down--and no one really cares--down to ignoring the living.
"...you came back for information." John Thompson
John gave us hugs and said a few nice things. He was dignified and friendly. Traci Van W. gave a very cute little presentation with stick figures and pictures from our show in hand drawn frames to lead us through her narrative. Again, we were all thrilled and proud of what a wonderful person Traci is.
Only two people from the last class made it to the dinner. Nuf said.
Then the Ad folks proceeded with all the Bubbification, singing songs for Ken etc. Ken was maudlin as this was his last year with the program--turning the last year over to John Milligan. Ken proudly told us that the program had just gotten approval to have thesis defense done over the phone using "telecommunications" which would allow everyone an easy time to defend their thesis. He then continued to stick his foot into it by rambling on by name of people who were scheduled (from last year) to come to SU to defend the work but were waylaid by "whatever" and couldnt make it. The magic of telephony! He meandered to talking about the party next year etc. etc. And then there was recognition of wives and the travelling teachers and alumni who were with the Ad folks. It was sad that no one from SU management had anything nice to say about Prof. Hine--and his contribution...sad.
We covened at the bar for a bit after the dinner. John expanded on working dogs--a possible project he has (mr. Jealousy is raising his head)--which was funny listening to him expand on the topic. Darren told us medical and spa stories as K is going to start having facials as a way to manage the acne..and give her a little boost. I promised A. to Traci if she would just wait. I suggested she could be my daughter in law...with the diff of 10 years if she could wait...Lotsa laughs. Ross and his wonderful wife Heather were funny and chatty. The Williams were holding court. They are wonderful. Jen looked totally tall and beautiful--regaling us with tales of her sister who is a Civil War reinactor out of Florida. They make up fake battles just to wear the costumes etc.
And then exhaustion called. Ross will (good chance) be joining me at HAS. Traci is thinking about it. Hugs all around. And then off to dark oblivion...and sleep. The home team came for the drinks etc. complete with the black velvet dog...to enliven things a bit. Maybe hugging Shady Grove (which each of the graduating class did) was a way of conferring the degree.
Am at the lake. Slept the better part of the day. Dinner is cooking. I am musing over my book project. The wind blows, the sky is high and cloudless. We bought a bag of the krispy creme donut peaches and box of tomatoes. A simple dinner with my favorite people will be the ticket to transition.
More tomorrow. My brain needs to stop.
**Note: Thanks to a graduating Ad student, the dinner might have not happened due to the ball being majorly dropped by the front office...but it was a save thanks to her.
A bow to her efforts.