Thursday, December 22, 2005

Old Endings and New Beginnings

Here's a slight rework of an email I just sent out to a whole bunch of people I met/talked to recently on my tour about my commencement. All y'all are also invited to come on over, if that fits with your summer plans.


Hi all,

Each of you has either promised to make it for my commencement, or to try to, or I'm hoping you will :) It's shaping up to be quite a party, so here's an early planning email.

So, the big day is Friday, June 9th, 2006. Some of you have expressed disbelief that such a large contingent as I'm hoping will show up for me will actually be allowed entrance - read the page - "FREE; no tickets or reservations required"

It'll be held outdoors in a large grassy area. Since the graduating call is really small, everyone/all family/friends usually fit in here...

The buzz around the campus was that the speaker might well be Thomas Friedman, NYTimes columnist (won't know for sure for another few months). That's either a strong incentive or a strong disincentive for you to attend, depending on whether you empathize more with this review or this one.

Besides the commencement itself, there's a whole host of other parties, etc which happen on the previous day, and the day itself. Here's last year's schedule, which will likely be the same as this year's, can be found here.

They're an excellent opportunity to schmooze, eat little delicate finger-food thingies, and meet the people in my life, if that sort of thing is what you want. Most of the events require no reservation, except the graduation banquet on Thursday night (which I highly recommend), and the commencement luncheon on Friday (which I highly dereccomend - the Athenaeum is a really nice place to eat and be overawed by wood-panelled luxury, but not on Commencement day - we should eat there the previous day or the next - on commencement day I'd recommend everyone going out someplace nice). In a few months I'll send out another email asking for RSVPs for both. Of course, the main event is the Friday morning commencement activities, which require no RSVPs, and if you can't make it for the others, that's fine. Also, if you're willing to slum it out a bit, I should be able to help with accomodation at friends' places.

Details of past commencements (including videos of the ceremonies and the progammes) can be found here.

Since most of you'll be coming from out of town, you may as well stick around for the weekend and do something fun. This is LA, after all, and if you don't have to actually live there, it can be pleasant. It'll be summer - open-air conerts, beaches and the easy life will beckon. I'll leave you to explore those possibilities yourself, but here are some excellent opportunities just a mile or two from campus.

Old Pas is a pleasant shoppingish area by day, nightlife hotspot by night.
The Norton Simon is a world-class art museum
Huntington gardens, libraries and gardens are a must-see cultural stop.

Dayum - with this many people counting on me (and this email is just being sent to non-Techers/alum friends), I'd better get back to correcting those thesis typos so I can actually walk during commencement next year :)


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