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Gaudeamus Igitur

Posted by Lois Lowry
Lois Lowry
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on Friday, 18 June 2010 in Uncategorized

I've just received photos from the Commencement ceremony at St, Mary's College in Sooth Bend, Indiana, where I was given an honorary degree last month.

LL-St Mary's

 It as an outdoor event on a beautiful day and I am glad to be reminded of it by the photos they sent.

I dropped out of my own graduate studies just short, actually, of getting my Master's. I had completed my course work and done the research for a master's thesis  on New England writer Sarah Orne Jewett but before the thesis itself had been written, my first book was published, and I found myself working on a second. Somehow that seemed to take over, and  I found myself less and less interested in my academic career.

Some years later, I got a phone message asking me to call the president of the university where I had done my graduate work (University of Southern Maine. The only thing I could think of (though it seemed odd that the president himself would call) was that they were calling  to tell me that the time limit on completing my MA was running out. So I prepared my lame apologies and excuses, and called back. And he was calling to tell me that they were giving me an honorary degree.

Since then I've gotten several more, including one from the women's college my own mother and grandmother both attended. And it is always a thrill. I love walking in the procession of academics—all those wonderful robes and hoods—and feeling part of that life, briefly.

The Latin phrase Gaudeamus Igitur means, incidentally, "Let Us Rejoice."  And I do. I do.

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Comments

Guest
Kirby Larson Monday, 29 November 1999

I'm going to look for my opera singer moment today!
And safe travels, Lois. I wish I could hear your talk!

Guest
Lois Lowry Monday, 29 November 1999

No, Kirby, you definitely do not want to hear my speech or see my pictures because they include a few pictures of my DOG, which would make you weep and writhe with envy.

Guest
Sarah Allen Monday, 29 November 1999

This is so great! I have such a beautiful, intriguing picture in my mind with the opera singer at the door + bouquet + snow. Thanks for this beautiful post :)
Sarah Allen
(My creative writing blog: http://fromsarahwithjoy.blogspot.com/">http://fromsarahwithjoy.blogspot.com/)" rel="nofollow">http://fromsarahwithjoy.blogspot.com/">http://fromsarahwithjoy.blogspot.com/)

Guest
ojimenez Monday, 29 November 1999

George and Lady, our spaniels, ran out the back door at 6am to do their business and disappeared in a foot of freshly fallen snow, literally. The snow was so deep they sunk into it. I Had to pick George ( he was dumbfounded, Lady was quite happy) up and carry him indoors.
Despite the headaches and backaches that snow brings with it, I still think snow is the most amazing thing. I did not get to experience snow until I was about 14. Before then, I only saw snow in pictures.
As a kid, I imagined snow was sweet and could be scooped up and eaten like meringue. Not only that, snow looked so tasty atop mountains, like icing on a cake.
Now I know differently, and snow has caused me a lot of headaches: having to shovel and drive in it. But I still love snow.
I guess it's all a matter of perception:
"The mind is a blue guitar on which we improvise the song of the world" wrote Annie Dillard, in her book "Living by Fiction." So true!
Cheers!

Guest
Elizabeth Varadan Monday, 29 November 1999

It's such a lovely idea: Opening the door in snowy weather, to be met by an opera singer with flowers! My mother was an opera singer. she was an almost-has-been, but she had a beautiful voice, just a difficult obstacle course to run. Maybe she should have tried delivering flowers. :-)

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