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So here I am, all moved, and starting to get a grip on the important things about my new place – like when the mail comes.  Annoyingly, the mailboxes are in a centralized location, so I don’t hear the pitter-patter of postal worker feet on my stairs to let me know of its glorious arrival.  Fortunately, I just realized that I have a view of where the mail truck parks, so now I know to expect it during the early afternoon.  I’ve yet to find anything of interest in there, so you know your duty.  Go forth and mail.

We’ve got pictures on the walls and food in the cupboards and internet access at last – in other words, it’s starting to feel like home.  This afternoon I plan on walking to the neighborhood library (one library is never enough for me) and checking out the co-op up the street.  I’m not too far from the house I lived in during college (and not too far from my alma mater, for that matter), so it feels a bit odd to be back in the old neighborhood.  It brings back all kinds of random memories.  I keep dropping by my parents’ house, though, to pick up odd things I’ve forgotten and just to hang out.

Speaking of college, I’m all official with my MLIS now.  I’ve been trying to decide whether it’s worth the trouble to go to graduation – the school does have a separate ceremony than the whole university (there is no way I’d put myself through that).  Besides, the degree-colored hood is lemon, of all colors.  (Although I guess it could be worse – the poor MFAs have brown, which would be pretty drab with the black gowns.)  And the whole outfit is pricey.  Plus the trip up, and I don’t even know who else is graduating this year.  Still, there’s something pleasantly Gaudy Night-ish about the gown and hood thing.

I’ve been watching The Forsyte Saga again – I tried the old BBC version, but it was too much over-acting and heavy makeup and poor lighting for me, so I switched back to the newer version which I know and love.  I’m reading the book at the same time, and it’s funny to hear lines echoed verbatim in the miniseries.  The book has a nice tone to it – a little melodrama, a little humor, and a little snark.  And one of these days I’ll catch up on my Goodreads reviews – I’ve been reading plenty but fell behind on reviewing while I didn’t have internet access.

So, I think I’m done with grad school. I submitted my final assignments, I sent a check for my last fee, my portfolio was approved…wow, that was anticlimactic. But isn’t it always? Even if I go to graduation for all the pomp and ceremony, that’s not until June. And I’m not starting a new, official librarian job yet. I am going to be moving soon, but that’s not quite the same thing.  That part isn’t unexpected, but it feels unexpected – my future roommate’s parents sold their house out from under her, so we’re moving in together sooner than planned.  I always hate moving, even if I’m looking forward to my new situation.  I was thinking that I still had time to get sick of living with my family, but I didn’t quite manage it.  Maybe they’ll be really mean leading up to the move and make the whole thing easier.

I also happen to have this week off of work (one job, at least) and I feel at loose ends.  The weather is dreary and I was too busy with school to make plans – but I feel the need to get out and do something fun.  For now, I’m enjoying eating dinner at dinner time instead of 10:30 pm.  Maybe I’ll finally work my way through my giant stack of library books.  Although I did start reading The Forsyte Saga, for some bizarre reason, so the going might be slow.  Just reading the first two chapters I’m already dying to watch the miniseries again.  I watched the newer version a few years ago, but maybe this time I’ll try the older one.  Or both, back to back.  Because I’m on vacation.

Back to the moving topic – it will be so odd to take all my things out of storage and use them again – but in a good way.  I’m also having to repress all these urges to take a little trip to Ikea.  I don’t even have an apartment yet, and already I want to pick out some curtains, and definitely a new bookshelf is in order, and wouldn’t some new picture frames come in handy?  Housewares: the best reason to have your own place.  Window-shopping will have to do for now.

A couple weeks ago, while I was sitting through my brother’s high school graduation, I had this great blackbird-style post planned. There would be lots of photos

mixed in with commentary on what other attendees were wearing, and how you can pick out the recent arrivals from Eastern Europe by their faces and the way they dress (the boy below is no recent arrival, from the Ukraine or elsewhere).

And I would somehow manage to pin down all the thoughts about “are there any kids here who are desperately embarrassed by their parents?” Not in the way that all seventeen & eighteen year olds are embarrassed, but in deep, terrible ways. I hoped not. And there would be pictures (but there aren’t, because this isn’t the post I wish it could be) of the event staff at the university where this took place, fierce little old ladies who lived to track down all users of airhorns. Who created a human wall with their small bodies to prevent eager family members from jumping the graduates as they exited the building. There would also be observations about how many students I recognized from their volunteer work at the library, and the prominence of shaggy hair in the combined bands.

And oh, how I would rip into the student speeches. The boy who’s heartrending tribute to the family of a dead classmate was horrifically marred by poor grammar. The speeches where, rather than continue to listen, I turned to the program and read every single name. There would have been a lot of mocking of names, but I had a desperate fear that the parents of Waldo William Wiffers (name invented to protect the innocent, but not that far off from the real thing) would be sitting behind me and would proceed to rap me over the head with their camera and blow their airhorn in my ear. (Fear not, the mocking was accomplished afterwards, over Mexican food.)

I would tell you about my favorite speech, the one where a bouncy young near-graduate announced, “We are about to enter the world.”

I insert a paragraph break to let that sink in. Are you with me? We are about to enter the world.

That poor, poor boy. He has no idea that he’s been living in the world for the past eighteen years (unless he is, perhaps, not of this world?) Oh, the youth of today! Are children really being raised to think that they aren’t part of the world? That they are not part of the greater union of humanity? Oh, Bartleby! This, in my humble opinion, is precisely what is wrong with our society. And the educational system. That kids are so damn separated from what is going on.

Now, I’m sure this poor boy didn’t mean to imply what I read into his statement. I know that. But it’s a symptom. Too bad I didn’t have spare copies of the Teenage Liberation Handbook to hand out as they walked out the door.

July 2021
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