Brigid graduated from college this weekend! Her (now) alma mater, Virginia Commonwealth University, is ranked the number one public art school in the United States and the number one school for sculpture among all American art schools. Brigid chose to go there after also being accepted at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, the Pratt Institute, and the Savannah College of Art and Design. Ultimately, her degree is a BFA in art education, but earlier, she majored in communication arts (drawing), then crafts and materials studies, and finally art education. She was also a sculpture major during her time at the University of Cape Town. She'll be teaching art workshops in Richmond this summer and also attending an improv workshop in Munich (with Jon and Seamus).
OK, enough bragging. We're just really proud, and it's also quite nice to reflect on the fact that two of our four children now have bachelor's degrees. (Ian's degree is in classics.) I don't particularly like graduation ceremonies themselves, but the VCU arts graduation was nice. VCU is a huge state school, but the art school has a separate, relatively intimate ceremony in an old theater, rather than the booming Siegel Center where the main school graduation is held. It was laid-back enough to be fun, but with enough pomp to make you realize that we were witnessing a big deal. No attempt was made to police the applause, and amazingly, every name was heard and everyone got their applause too. At the risk of sounding like a fatuous self-appointed judge of graduations, I'll say it was nicely done all around.
Of course, there's always my personal inner drama, but there wasn't much of that either. Having experienced what the UVA graduation does to Charlottesville, I was expecting terrible traffic and an impossible time finding a parking space. Instead, we rolled into a surprisingly quiet Richmond, found a free parking space on the street a short walk from Brigid's apartment. We were early because I'd allowed so much extra time for traffic that never materialized. From Brigid's apartment, it was an easy fifteen minute walk to the Altria Theater. Once there, I had a brief moment of panic when I saw they were searching all bags upon entrance. My own bag contained a ludicrous assortment of things one doesn't usually bring to a graduation: a pair of Dansko clogs (in case the thonged sandals I was wearing got too uncomfortable) a cardigan sweater, a copy of Emma Beddington's (one of my all-time favorite bloggers) lovely memoir (to read while waiting for the ceremony to start) and my entire smaller purse. Luckily, there was no ban on clunky Swedish clogs, just food and drinks and many people had to leave their water bottles at the door.
We were told the ceremony would last from 2:00pm-4:00pm. It started on time, and at precisely 4:02 it was all over and we were grouped together on the curb, planning our next move. We had originally planned to walk down to Belle Isle (hence the clogs) but there was a blast of freezing wind and a sudden downpour that sent us scurrying for home where we drank champagne and posted our pictures onto social media. Later, we went to Ipanema, one of our favorite Richmond restaurants, for a celebratory dinner. Altogether a lovely day.