Tuesday, May 25, 2010

My sister Cassie's graduation (from UVa)

OK so in Russia my Mom would have been considered a "Hero Mom", a designation by the Soviet state to encourage comrades during the Cold War to have more children. Last weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia we celebrated my youngest sister, Cassie's, graduation from college. She is 19 years my junior and was 4 years old when I graduated from college. My mom will, for the first time in 40 years, not be paying tuition or carpooling. I remember her trudging up to our dorm room freshman year, very pregnant with Cassie, wearing a Laura Ashley dress and ignoring the smell of fetid spilled beers (fortunately it was not her first trimester and she wasn't feeling woozy). When she called to tell me she was pregnant freshman year, my response: "Better you than me." Well, that was many moons ago. Cassie is now doing what I did after I graduated, heading off to Africa. She won't be pursuing journalism, recognizing it as a professional dead end. She was accepted by the Peace Corps and will be working on HIV issues in Subsaharan Africa. She didn't tell me that she was writing her senior thesis on the use of UAV's or drones as a violation of "Just War." Ahh - the Ivory Tower. By Sunday, when the bars opened on "The Corner" in downtown Charlottesville so that co-eds could have one last drink before they walked away from Mr. Jefferson's Rotunda, it was starting to look like a Will Ferrell movie. En route to the ceremony, I was trying to give Amelia (7) a little history and regaled her with Thomas Jefferson's achievements. I told her that he had built the University. She didn't seem impressed, adding, "You mean his servants did." Despite the monsoon swells, it was a perfect weekend and the girls have already determined which sorority they will join and have decided to apply to UVa early (perhaps next year).