Sunday, December 31, 2006

Lucas e' ufficialmente 'Dottore'

Wow.. such a long long time since I last posted on the blog. Sorry guys, I've been really busy between celebrations, holidays, and work.. And tomorrow, I'm flying out to Italy, the same day that Lucas is flying out to California. So, lots of changes in this short timeframe, and still no many knows in my future.
Anyway, I have a lot to catch up with! I'll start with one of the main events:
Lucas's graduation!!!!!!!
Now, he managed not to have a picture taken when he was dressed in his robe!!! So here is a peek at him seated in the crowd of students and professors during the big ceremony.. Can you find him?!? Behind him, there is his adviser, Lubos. Sorry for the quality of these pictures.. It was hard to take good pictures from far away.

The big ceremony was kind of interesting for me. In Italy, there's nothing like this. Especially after you graduate as a Ph.D.. They didn't even call our names!!! Anyway, this was instead really pompous.. The ceremony start with music, while all the students and professors, deans and so enter. There are some really interesting figures and things going on.. one is the 'University Mace' (una mazza!!!! Una vera mazza pseudo medievale...):
To be honest with you, it was a bit funny.. the description of all the symbols supposedly hidden in this 'mace', and then, when it was carried in and out by this tiny old lady...
The whole crowd all dressed up was also 'interesting'.. - I'm really not a huge ceremenoy person. It was also quite amazing to see, at the end of the ceremony, soldiers coming in (with rifles), to put up the American flag. People are so mmuch more patriotic in the US than in Italy.
There was also another pretty weird moment: the 'turning of the tassel' (tassel e' il cordoncino che pende da sopra il cappello piatto che gli studenti indossano). I had no idea about this other 'symbolic' gesture.. the students who graduate for their bachelor (laurea) enter the scene with their tassel on one side (I guess left?) and at a certain point of the ceremony, they all take it and swap it to the other side.. to show the turning point of their life.. Interesting :)
Just to give you a final taste of the atmosphere, here is a shot of the crowd.

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