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graduation, and Ai and Ernie's wedding

First, some miscellaneous pictures of Tornado Kitty.

My parents and Mara came to my graduation ceremony on Wednesday evening. It was an outdoor ceremony for the master's and doctoral degree students, and we were lucky it didn't rain while we were out there. This was only the second time ever I'd been to the Homewood (downtown Baltimore) campus, which felt weird considering I've been a JHU grad student for four years. The campus was a lot less ghetto than I'd expected. Here are the only pictures I have from the graduation. I'm hoping Mara will send hers along. Nudge, nudge.

At this ceremony, each PhD recipient was hooded by his or her respective advisor. Each master's degree recipient came on stage to shake hands and pretend to receive a diploma, for the photographer. There was just one "diploma," and grads had to remember not to take it from the guy pretending to hand it to them. Less or more fake than actually receiving a piece of paper that's a stand-in for your diploma? I'm not sure on that one. In any event, there were a lot of us graduating, especially computer science master's degree recipients. I guess the families liked seeing their loved ones on stage, but I'd rather have a shorter ceremony without the pretending-to-receive-a-diploma.

Our reward for sitting there in the unseasonably chilly evening air, listening to name after name after name, was a late dinner at Pazo, a tapas-style restaurant in Fells Point for which I'd read a good review. thedreadpilot joined us, and we had a fine dinner of more than a dozen little plates with items like octopus salad, chorizo with potatoes, grilled quail, goat cheese, and roast lamb on fougasse. Yum.

On Saturday morning I headed up to State College, for Ai (delayedneutron) and Ernie's wedding at Centre Hills Country Club. See my pictures. The weather all day was variable: rain, then sun, then cloudy, then more rain, then sun, et cetera. The ceremony was held on a terrace under a tent. fndragon officiated, and aitai (a semi-professional opera singer) sang beautifully. They chose an excerpt from The Little Prince for their reading—yea! It so happened that for our own wedding, we chose a piece by Anne Morrow Lindbergh expounding on a Saint-Exupéry quote. Now that I think of it, the one who gave me my copy of The Little Prince was harvestar, the former roommate through whom I met Ai and Ernie in the first place and whom I saw for the first time in years yesterday at the wedding. These days she's spending her nights at a telescope looking up at the clear, starry Arizona sky.

Ai made her own wedding dress (see this picture), and it was gorgeous.

The reception went pretty much as receptions do: guests mill around, the wedding party arrives, toasts are given, dinner is eaten, silverware is clinked against glassware, and the bride and groom kiss on demand. Drinks are drunk, and music is danced to, for some definition of "dance." :) Actually, Ai and Ernie, like thedreadpilot and I, had clearly put some effort into learning proper ballroom dancing before their wedding. I wish I'd had a dance partner there!

Not having stayed up as late as anyone else last night, I woke up with plenty of time to spare before the noon post-wedding picnic. Since I couldn't connect to the hotel's wifi, I turned on the TV and ended up watching The Thing Called Love. I dunno about the plot, but the male leads were enough eye candy to keep my attention. :)

I brought my kite to the picnic, but the park turned out to be all wooded, so it didn't see any air today. We snacked and played games: bocce ball, Bang, Apples to Apples. Some of us tagged along with aitai to check out a shoe sale at a College Avenue shop. Later we rendezvoused at The Creamery, and I headed home shortly afterwards. I got to see some of the new stuff around campus, like Shortlidge Mall and the Eastview Terrace Housing. I didn't get a chance to see the new Information Sciences and Technology building, but my memories remain in Pond Lab.