Owing to my Armando and Armida’s generosity and Robert & Paloma’s openness to accommodate me, I was able to attend Francis’s (my godson’s) graduation from Brown University in Providence Rhode Island. It was a wonderfully organized three day event of celebrations, parties, dances and events. Since I arrived on Saturday I missed the baccalaureate but was able to attend the waterfire event, where bonfires are lit along the river as people socialize along the riverwalk. We then attended a swing dance that was being held on the street in downtown Providence.
|Dancing the night away!|
The graduation took all morning and most of the afternoon. As the graduates processed through town to the First Baptist Church, families and alumni cheered them. They then processed to the college green where Ruth Simmons, the president, conferred their degrees. She was moved to be awarded the teacher of the year award. By mid afternoon, the graduates dispersed to their respective departments to receive their diplomas. Francis’ was Development Studies at the Jewish Community Center. It was a more intimate place. Department Director Cornel’s dry humor was charming as master of ceremonies. After a brief nap, we had pizza at Francis’ house—a nice capstone to a wonderful day.
“Francis, let me know how I can help you pack.”
“It is OK, Nino. I have to pack myself.”
And he began to go through the items and memories he had collected over 4 years at Brown. He had just received news that he got a job for PSI in DC, a global health organization and he was preparing to leave. So he was closing a chapter to his life at Brown—packing up clothes, books and souvenirs, and saying goodbye to friends. Oh to be young and on the cusp of adulthood.