Graduation as a cultural experience

I picked up my graduation gown/cap/tassel/whatever else the other day. As I did so, I found myself feeling rather conflicted about actually going through with attending graduation. From a few months out, graduation seemed like a no-brainer, a chance to make up for the fact that Jeremy and I have never been to our own graduations for any of our degrees.

Now that the ceremony is looming, however, I feel like the thesis defense was the crowning jewel of my MA, and graduation is more of an afterthought. A not entirely convenient afterthought, as it turns out. I have this baby, see, and he's not allowed into University City City Hall (say that three times fast, it's fun!) (also, this is an event in the UAE that does not allow children! Very rare), but he's nursing, which means I was facing the prospect of celebrating my graduation while hoping that my baby was not screaming for milk in my absence. I balked, and thought that maybe I should forego the ceremony after all.

My mom (who is here visiting, along with my dad and niece) talked me back into it, though. It's not just a graduation. It's a cultural experience. Who even gets to go to a graduation - their OWN graduation - in a totally foreign country? (Uh, a few hundred other students at this university, actually.) I'll get to shake the Sheikh's hand. I've already got the gown. My parents are here. Etc.

So I've decided to try to make it work. I've been talking with the necessary people to see if I can arrange to not be away from my nursing baby for five hours, but still experience the graduation ceremony. The ceremony is on Saturday. I'm hoping for the best!

January 24th, outsourced

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