(detaching myself from regarding a very curious bird, which has settled on our patio: rich brown all over, but shading to a darker color on the wingtips, with red dashes at the inner edge of the elbow, and a mark like a yellow paintbrush on the end of its tail, with a black mask over its eyes, and a roman crest on its head; it sits very still by the flower pots, and doesn’t move when we all crowd around and take pictures; which puts it in imminent danger from the cat, who for now is lazing in the garage, but will no doubt come prowling as the day cools; no obvious injuries or reasons for its petrification)

My favorite part about graduation was simply the regalia. When I read Gaudy Night, I become very jealous of the English academics, who get to wear their robes and caps for every-day. It sounds silly, but one of my motivations for finishing medical school was just to get wear the doctor’s robes. The medical color is green, so we had three thick stripes of green velvet on the sleeves (such an improvement on the plain, unstriped black of the baccalaureate), and two stripes of green velvet down the front. At our school, the graduates got black velvet tams, which look infinitely more dignified than the flat caps. And then, finally, the hood (when finally given, at the end of the ceremony), which is long and broad, edged with green, and trimmed with the school colors. Magnificent! All the doctors, like birds of a feather, trimmed in green, with varying school colors, filled the stage and the front of the auditorium. How else could you get such dignified fellows to appear in public in medieval costume? I am now looking for excuses to wear my regalia again. Perhaps I will have to get a faculty job, just so I can come to more graduations.

I have to go to a sibling’s music recital now; details of the commencement address to follow.