Watch out, Mr. Ramsay! This week the culinary world receives a new chef: K.
Graduation, as always, is a bittersweet time. I know she’s worried and excited at the same time about starting her new life in the culinary world. She’ll be doing her hard-won externship at the Biltmore in Asheville, which is very cool indeed. We can’t wait to visit this summer. I know she’ll do well, and perhaps stay on after her externship is done, or take any one of many other opportunities out there.
We are invited to a buffet at the IUP culinary academy in Punxsutawney (yes, the groundhog place), and then the graduation ceremony for the 30 or so graduates. It will be a nice, small gathering, the kind where each student seems to have meaning.
We’ve been to the other kind. My sister graduated from school with a class of about 2,500. The ceremony took forever! We were certainly proud of her and glad to see her success. But somehow it’s not the same. I know I skipped my college graduation for the same reason. My other daughter was valedictorian of her college class–but when graduation came, she’d already moved from Guam to the States. So she missed it too.
The one family graduation that really stuck with me was the one memorialized in my story Under the Big Top in the Cup of Comfort book. Two daughters, two ex husbands, a wild cast of unrelated characters, and of course, the traditional family watermelon-flinging fight after. Some families just function better with food in hand.
I did attend my law school graduation from the University of Miami. The ceremony was held at the Dade County Auditorium, (now Miami-Dade County Auditorium), right downtown on Flagler Street. We all dressed up in serious black gowns and sat on stage in rows, while the deans and professors, with their bright stoles, sat in the front of the stage and made what I’m sure were inspirational speeches.
My attention, however, was not on my family in the crowd, or my dreams of career and other grandeur. No, my attention was on some of my brethren who had discovered the unlocked side door to the backstage area and the fact that a convenience store selling beer was directly across the street. I will never tell who they were (and frankly might not remember 20-some years later), but I know their names came after “S” in the lineup. While the speeches were droning on, they made not one but three trips across to stock up on six packs to make things move along a little more pleasantly. Now that’s legal action with some real momentum for change!
I’m sure the events of this week will be less dramatic, but no less pride-inducing. I hate letting go of one more little girl, now a grown woman with mad skilz. But the world needs her more than I do. And she’ll be fabulous. You go, girl….because I know how you roll. 🙂