Processional and Recessional


YAWWWWWNNNNNN I’m practically falling asleep as I type this. Ok, I already did — on the shuttle bus back to work.

Funny store about the shuttle before I explain my somewhat unusual sleepiness… This morning I had training downtown. Since I live about 3 blocks away from the free shuttle that connects both campuses of the university I work for, I decided to just take that instead of other forms of germ ridden public transportation. Typically, the shuttles are manageable, crowd wise.
But today must have been a preview of what I should expect come Fall. It was packed and I, being about two inches under a somewhat respectable 5 feet, had to deal with attempting not to fall on my ass while straddling two leather grips (I cant reach the metal bars).
Scene from a bondage film, I tell ya. Here I am, spread eagle in a shorter skirt rocking back in forth as the bus flops around LSD going 50 miles an hour. Now, I’ve never ridden the bus downtown, so I couldn’t anticipate turns like the other standers apparently could. One extremely tight turn later, I am falling straight on top of this poor British college student trying to do his law school homework. And I dont just fall, no. My female parts are all up in his face and I am basically straddling him and his textbook. The rest of the guys sitting near him are just staring in a mix of horror and awe while the ladies graciously held on to my purse and gym bag.
After I managed to pull myself up, I mustered a “Sorry about that. Next time I’ll ask you what you’re reading first.” Klutz.
This wouldn’t have happened on the magic school bus with Ms. Frizzle.
On the way back to my main campus after the most basic training ever, I had the entire bus to myself and I slept.
Why so tired, you may (probably not) ask? Well, today I rose up at 4am like the Sleeping Beauty that I am to watch the man in my life, B, get his Masters Degree from his University in the UK. About 60% of the ceremony was in Welsh, which I certainly was not prepared for, but I was too busy scanning the crowds for B and his family (who were prominently featured in the front row) on my poor streaming feed to notice it at first. But then there came the confirmation of degrees.
In the US, it’s your name and a handshake as you individually walk off stage. These UK-ers on the other hand have it down by efficiency. They call the undergrads in groups of five or six, quickly read their name, read a passage in Welsh, and then they nod their hats. Seriously, that’s it. What took my alma mater almost three hours to do was slashed nearly in half. Oh, and their ceremony featured possibly one of the worst organists I’ve ever heard and a badass flutist and harpist duo the split the ceremony in to two.
There were also no special speakers. One 90 year old historian had to stand about 10 minutes as they read his life story and then was promptly walked off stage. That was it. No fake doctorates to be had. No student life stories. Just quick and easy out-the-door-ya-go procedures.
It didn’t surprise me when B called me after his ceremony to tell me that he wants to stay in that UK town for good to get his doctorate. I was just waiting for him to admit it. He speaks so highly of the place and has shown me oodles of pictures and google maps for me to admit that it is an extremely lovely town. His friends are there, a good degree awaits him, and he can fully realize that terrible Ah-ccent he’s been cultivating. He’s made it this far, and I cannot be more proud of him and all his accomplishments. I cannot wait to see where life takes him from this point on- whether it be the UK to finish up a degree or here in Chicago to find what jobs await him.
Ok. I am going to get gushy in a moment, and I just dont want to do that. I’m 6 days out from him returning home and it could not come sooner.
I’ve stayed pretty occupied by going home over the weekend for my birthday party, working on my writing portfolio, and going out with Turkey tonight. Tomorrow, I am going to DDPP Chicago, which will be my first in two years. I cant wait to just dance all my B loneliness away and attempt to make new friends that are central to the city.

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