May 25, 2011

Pups & Circumstance

Today is my absolute favorite day of the school year at Stony Brook University: Graduation Day! For this one afternoon, the entire campus takes on a completely different feel. There is a wonderful excitement in the air. Everyone comes dressed in their finest, bringing smiles and well-wishes for those who have worked so hard to reach to this milestone in their lives. It is a day of hopes renewed and dreams come true. It is the culmination of things striven for and the emergence of new horizons. A day of Caps & Gowns and Pomp & Circumstance.

Oddly enough, for most of the ten years that I have worked for the university, it has rained on Graduation Day, though today's early forecast is for sunny skies and 79 degrees. That would be terrific. In the Transit Department, we have a tremendous BBQ to celebrate the end of the school year. Huge spread of food. I pretty much snack all day long and go home in the evening feeling very full and satisfied. Not all of the departments on campus enjoy the festivities (some think it is too hectic and would rather avoid it), but that is one pessimistic view that I will never share. This is a great day! Congratulations, Class of 2011!

In other news, the Long Island Kennel Club hosted a dog show on Sunday at the Old Bethpage Village Restoration. While I've watched these types of events on TV, I had never been to one and I was excited to see what it was all about. The first thing that I noticed as I stepped on to the grounds was that I did not hear the sound of barking. One would figure that a space occupied by hundreds of hounds would be somewhat loud, but that is not the case at all. These are canines of sophistication and refinement, meticulously groomed with silken coats, and possessing calm dispositions.

As I browsed the various tents and performance areas, I encountered breeds of all types (sporting, herding, terrier, toy, etc.), many exotic and some unusual. It is an impressive sight when a dog strikes its best pose for one of the judges--regal equipoise, chin held high, tail out straight. There are also demonstrations of agility training in which the dogs run through obstacle courses, scaling hurdles and slaloming around orange cones. Of course, after all of the exhibitions are concluded, the pooches get to enjoy some leisure time walking among the spectators, most of whom are ready to stop and give a well-earned scratch behind the ear. Overall, the LIKC show is a cool experience. Mostly, it made me think about my own dog (now gone for almost two months). She was my "Best in Show" and her blue ribbon will always hang above the hearth of my heart. Love & light...

"So we fix our eyes not on what is seen,
but on what is unseen. For what is seen
is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal."

~2 Corinthians 4:18