Mark got all spiffed up in a silly robe, a silly--and nonfunctional--hood, and a silly hat on Friday. He and our buddy PJ led in a group of 5,610 also strangely dressed folks to much cheering and playing of "Pomp and Circumstance." All the hard work of writing and defending his thesis may be ahead of him still, but Mark's hard work of the past six years was honored and celebrated in the CU commencement ceremonies, the majority of which occurred on a field of metal flooring under a very hot sun.
Drew lasted long enough to see Daddy process into the stadium and take a seat before letting it be known that the sun was not his friend and he wanted shade. He was still with Daddy in spirit because he kept the graduation program in his hands and mouth at all times. Except for the times when the strange texture of the fieldhouse attached to the stadium became too absorbing of his attention.
After the agony of all that time in the sun, we went under a big tent for the departmental program. Drew was very well behaved until the end, when he was just too tired. So right about the time that everything was done and everyone wanted to say hi to Mark's bouncing baby boy, said boy was passed out asleep on his Momma.
Despite all the sun (and the insanity of leaving the house to get to the stadium by 8:00, which resulted in Momma completely forgetting to eat or even drink some water; not good for all that sun), it was a great day, and it was very satisfying to see Mark get all that special notice and treatment for the years of coursework and research, even if he did get his degree conferred in advance of the official receipt of it. He's more than earned a day in the spotlight, a hearty "Huzzah!" and pat on the back, a special mention in a thick program and on a smaller stage.
Of course, after he actually writes his thesis and defends it in front of his department, he won't have a celebration on this kind of scale. But you can be sure that the jubilation will be just as hearty, and there will be far more alcohol involved. :)