Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Back from Santa Barbara

We're back from a short vacation to pick up our son, Ted, after his graduation (double major, honors, in 3 years) from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Ted graduated on Sunday morning, but we arrived a day early to take part in his cousin Kevin's graduation ceremonies.

UCSB has so many graduates that they split the class up into related majors to keep the ceremonies manageable. Kevin graduated in computer sciences.

Saturday, right after Kevin's ceremony.
From left, Kevin's dad, Kevin, his mom (my sister), and Kevin's brother, John.


Ted's processional on Sunday morning.

The family gathers after Ted's graduation.

One of the highlights of the weekend for me was a reception held by the black studies department for its graduates and their immediate family. The room was packed. Lunch was served. Awards were given.

Ted won the Paul Robeson Award for outstanding service and scholarship. Professor Christopher McAuley presented Ted's award. Professor McAuley's introduction brought tears running down my cheeks.

He accurately described Ted as a generous and laconic person whose few words are well worth listening to.

Ted gave his mantle to Professor McAuley who wrote a letter of recommendation in support of Ted's Peace Corps application.

After the reception we got sandwiches from the Isla Vista Food Co-op. We ventured on to the bluff to eat. Then we took a walk around campus. It is bordered on the south by the Pacific Ocean.

Ted's sister, Liz and her fiancee, Andrew flew in from New York.

Monday morning move out.
Ted left something from the
Tao Te Ching on the cupboards for his roommates:

Therefore the sage goes about doing nothing, teaching no talking.
The ten thousand things rise and fall without cease,
Creating, yet not possessing,
Working, yet not taking credit.
Work is done, then forgotten.
Therefore it lasts forever.

He left, also, his custom cruiser, for his buddies in the Kroozer Skid Nation.


Culmom37 said...

How proud your family must be of Ted, and Kevin. What an honor for Ted to not only graduate with double major, honors, in 3 years, but to win the Paul Robeson Award for outstanding service and scholarship. What an amazing accomplishment. Most kids these days take extra years to graduate with only one degree, let alone that degree be with honors.

What proud parents you must be! I say CONGRATULATIONS to you and your wife for raising such a strong and caring man. The work he is about to encounter in the Peace Corps will be the hardest yet most rewarding job in his life. People will truly be touched by his generosity.

Good luck Ted! I will be thinking of you and praying for your safe return home when your mission is completed. You will be missed.

Dan Gurney, Mr. Kindergarten said...

Thank you. Yep, we're proud of Ted. He's a good kid. We're proud of Liz, too.

I've heard it said that God gives parents the kids they get according to his estimation of your capacity as parents. If that's so, he must have not thought much of us: our kids turned out great pretty much on their own. We just fed them, clothed them, sheltered them, and talked to them along the way. Basic parenting. Nothing fancy.

Maybe having no TV at home helped.

Culmom37 said...

Yes, I certainly did not mean to leave out Liz! I know how incredibly proud you and your wife are of her as well. There is not a doubt in my mind that your influence on your children was much more than "basic parenting" along the way! I find what you have to say very inspiring and thought provoking which is great for the growing mind.

Dan Gurney, Mr. Kindergarten said...

Thank you! As soon as I wrote that thing about parenting it occurred to me that I left out the most important aspect of parenting: LISTENING.

I don't know if Liz and Ted feel like I did that much listening over the years, but I tried to listen. (It's easier said than done, that's for sure.) As Jimi Hendricks once said, "Knowledge talks. Wisdom listens."