The word "commencement" connotes a fresh start or beginning. This past weekend, I experienced not one, but two "commencements." The first is the launch of my personal website and blog! Technology and community-building are cornerstones of my professional practice, and I am excited to embark on an adventure that will engage both of these activities in new ways. I look forward to using this forum to share my work with existing friends and colleagues, and I hope my site will bring me in touch with new connections as well.
The subject of collegiality and friendship brings me to my second "commencement," which takes the more literal form of a graduation. At the Boston University History of Art & Architecture department ceremony, I had the opportunity to cheer on my dear friend Dr. Lindsay Alberts as she received her diploma. Congratulations! You can follow her on her blog, The Pizza Professor. It is exciting that she is "PhinisheD" and inspiring to think that next year I'll be the one in the goofy robe and tam. In the meantime, I had to settle for this regalia-red dress. "Fake it 'till you make it," right?
In case any of you are looking for a way to celebrate the special graduate in your life, I've been making these frames for friends, family, and faculty to sign. An inspirational quote (here, "She thought she could so she did") can serve as a placeholder until the recipient has her own graduation photo to insert. I purchased everything at Blick - be sure to use an archival pen so the signatures won't fade over time.
Last year, I also made these tam-topped cupcakes for party I hosted. All of of the graduation gear at party stores features flat mortarboards, so this is a special way to capture the uniqueness of the PhD tam in your festivities! To make, prepare cupcakes according to the box, filling the cups less than usual so the tops are relatively flat when the batter rises. Dollop frosting onto the center of the cupcake, then swirl outward with a knife to create a thick, flat circle. Then pop on a Pinwheel cookie! To make the tassel, separate two strands of a Twizzler Pull-and-Peel and twist together. Wrap another one-and-a-half-inch segment of another strand and around the twist to create the "knot," leaving the end to hang alongside the other two. The result should be a three-pronged tassel. Pinch the ends to bond the licorice in place, and stick the other end of the twist in the center of the cookie so the tassel hangs down, pressing it into the frosting to secure it if necessary. Try not to handle the candy too much - that makes it far less appetizing.
What kinds of "commencements," graduation or otherwise, are you celebrating this spring?