Zsolt and the floppy hat

While my tea cools I’ll tell you about yesterday.

Zsolt has graduated. 🙂  You should have seen in him that gown – the man is already really tall, but drap a gown with vertial panels of maroon and blue on the guy, and suddenly he’s a freaking giant. Topping off this outfit was a large (like your Christmas dinner plates large) floppy, circular and velvet black hat with a tassle in the middle. No one looked spectacular in that hat – why they make Doctors and Professors wear it can only be chalked up to history, because certainly it’s in no why fashionable (or flattering).

So, adorned in his gowns, we then hit up a photography/party with his school at the ORC (Optoelectronics Research Center). This was lovely because many of our friends were there – five years of a PhD with these folks, so we’ve become rather good friends. Everyone started at the same time, and everyone is finishing (roughly) around the same time too. To imagine not having these folks in the same city feels strange, just like it does with my other incredible Southampton (Hampshire) friends.

[In the meanwhile, except for grad yesterday, I keep running off to meet with people. Anna, Zsolt’s mother, is amazed at how social I am . . . though I’m not actually that social, I’m just in a hurry – there’s really no time!]

With the bunch in a group, along with some professors and tutors, pictures were taken. Wow, they did look good in their stupid outfits – I was impressed. And proud. Pride was lapping over the edges of my smile and splashing over everyone. This was my husband graduating, and he’s done so well. I know the ups, the downs, the frustrations, the victories – his story is partly also my story and we’ve gone through a load of stuff (good, bad, the unremarkable) together. To see him yesterday all dressed up and with his class was really a great feeling. Hopefully (apparently) he also felt quite fine.

Photos were followed by champagne and strawberries. Lovely. Unfortunately due to not having lunch – I was essentially rather buzzed after one glass of champagne (a lasting chemo after-effect) – and while people say alcohol loosens them up, it simply unscrews my head. Therefore, I ditched the champagne and ate three bowls of strawberries (drown in cream), which did the immediate trick of restoring my balance.

More photos, more conversation, more enjoyment.

Anna and Lászlo managed alright considering they don’t speak any English. (Actually, that’s not strictly true because between the three of us a conversation can be held –yes! finally – however it involves making ourselves look slightly idiotic with word fragments and hand motions, and so, of course, they didn’t want to play charades yesterday with the director of the ORC. Zsolt translated.)

And it was off to the ceremony.

Ahh so long. We had excellent seats, but it meant arriving perhaps a bit too early. So, after an hour of waiting – the procession began and everyone (staff, chancellor, porter, etc) took their seats. There were plenty of tipping floppy hats and speaches. One nice looking older man became a fellow, and another – after a long bio of his life read by another floppy hat professor – was given a doctorate in science.

Zsolt looked wonderful getting his degree. He had removed his hat and ‘hood’ and the porter fellow walked with him over to the chancellor (who was also wearing robes, but his looked very grand with a bumblebee gold and black striping across the front). Then Zsolt knelt down in front of the chancellor, who put the hood across Zsolt’s shoulders. Next, Zsolt stood up and put his hands togeather as if praying. The chancellor placed his hands over Zsolt’s and they had a small, whispered, conversation.

“How you doing?”

“Fine you?”

“Not bad.”

“Okay then . . .”

No, it was more about ‘what are you doing next’ and stuff. Anyhow, after this, Zsolt walked off the stage (and since he was one of the last of the people I knew graduating, my interested followed him off the stage as well). Then it was about another hour of clapping and speeches.

But enough with the details! Zsolt is Dr Zsolt, and I’m just bursting with pride. A big gold star for my husband, cause he was great yesterday and he’s been great these past five years. Way to go Zsolt!

And now I’d better get off this computer. The family is waking up, and each time they see me typing they say; “Catherine, you’re working again?” and I say, “No, no,” because this isn’t work. It’s total play.

Ah! Too late – they just said it. “Catherine a dolgozike, work.”  I’m totally busted.

(Apologizes for misspelling the Hungarian words – Zsolt isn’t awake yet to check my mistakes.)