Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Weekend in Paradise

As already posted, the daughter just obtained her undergraduate degree at Stanford University. What a priceless weekend, from Philosophy Professor Debra Satz's thought provoking class day lecture on the ethical ambivalence of market forces (Want a lower interest rate? Sign over your kidney as collateral.) to Sunday's moving commencement speech by Susan E. Rice, US Permanent Representative to the United Nations.

I had read but mostly forgotten the NY Times article about the daughter's residence, Synergy. While I waited downstairs for her to get ready for dinner, some students in the next room were gathered around a piano. A particularly compelling song started, and I had to approach them to ask its title. As I entered the room, I saw that one of the ladies was wearing a pair of sneakers and nothing else. Their eyes were on my eyes. Knowing I would be examined for Neanderthal reactions, I allowed myself to see her as I would see anyone (neither staring nor averting). I addressed all of them, “Do any of you know what song this is?”

They smiled. A young man fired up his iPhone, "I know it's from Amelie" and started looking for a link to snag the precise title.
"The movie?"
"Yeah."
"That's all I need. Thanks so much."

The weekend took me back to my first college graduation and the exhilaration it produced. What an emotional experience, tasting and smelling the thrill and wide open space before one's child while being reminded that one once had that space, the operative word - had.

I'm skipping a lot. That said, in a certain respect, the song was perfect and will forever remind me of three days in June, 2010.

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