Monday, May 15, 2006

One down -- four to go

Older Daughter graduated from college this weekend.


Her name was in the program. Her name was called and she walked across the stage at the English Department convocation. She received an empty folder, however -- all of the would-be graduates did. The school thinks they've graduated, but it reserves the right to say differently after this semester's final grades are turned in.

Still, despite the weasel words in the graduation program, I am confident that Older Daughter, in fact, graduated. This was a proud moment for the Old Curmudgeon, one not even ruined by Oldest Son's cynical (if probably accurate) observation, gesturing generally at the several hundred English graduates, "The unemployment rate just went up in Illinois...."

Older Daughter is now officially unemployed. And she hasn't yet figured out what she will do to remedy this. She doesn't even know when she's moving home. She figures she can stay in her Champaign apartment until August, but that would make it difficult to find work in Chicago. She should be here, now, pounding the pavement as of this morning. Instead she talks vaguely of babysitting in Chicago and working in the bookstore in Champaign. Without violating the established laws of nature, this plan can not possibly work.

In the last couple of months Older Daughter has toyed with the notion of going to law school -- she decided to explore this possibility too late for the coming school year, but she'd already indicated she intended to work this year anyway. At first it was to earn money for nursing school. Nursing school? Not that there's anything wrong with nursing, obviously -- but an English degree is not the traditional entree to a nursing career.

And Older Daughter has firmly rejected anything having to do with "business." But what's left when you throw that out? (Besides nursing. And babysitting. And maybe working in the bookstore.)

The sad fact is that Older Daughter will lose her health insurance benefits in a few months, not because her mother and I are big meanies (though we may be) but because she will 'age out' of our coverage. If she doesn't return home, she won't be insured on our auto policy. Not that she presently has a car, or any hopes of acquiring one.

LSS and I are hoping to have a long chat with Older Daughter when her "graduation brain" gets back to something approaching normal. It won't be today. Older Daughter's called already today, wondering whether I still have scrap of green paper she gave me with directions on where to go for Saturday's ceremony. That long-since discarded scrap of paper may -- or may not -- have on it the telephone number of the company that rented the caps and gowns and there seems to be some question as to whether it is already too late for Older Daughter and her boyfriend (ODB) to return these items.

Welcome to the real world, Class of 2006. We're probably not ready for you either.

No comments: