I'm back in Maine now at my parents' house, sitting in my bedroom with every surface covered with random clothes and books. But at least now I'm the proud owner of a $160,000 piece of paper that says, in a language I can't read, that I graduated from college. Tomorrow I'll begin volunteering with a service organization in South Portland called Strive. I'll be helping out with a fundraising program they have called BookWorks and helping them to extend it from just a bricks-and-mortar operation into an online operation as well, via eBay or Half.com. Later in the summer I will be pretty busy with skiing though; we're heading to New Zealand for a couple weeks in August, and I may even head out to Mt. Hood for a little training on my own next week.
Senior week, graduation, and the following couple of days were all really fun. Instead of sticking around campus for all of the final week (after exams), I went to the biennial Meeting of the Dictionary Society of North America in Boston for a couple of days. Apparently someone from the Phoenix was there on the first day, and they wrote this story... pretty funny. There were indeed lots of lectures on obscure and funny topics, and there were indeed lots of obscure and funny people in attendance, most of them a lot older than myself. I did, however, meet all the hip young lexicographers I had read about a while back in this article, and one of them (Grant Barrett of the HDAS and OUP USA) even offered me an internship, at least unofficially. So that may happen sometime next year.
When I got back from the DSNA Meeting, the family and friends began pouring into Hanover for graduation weekend. In all, 13 people came for the festivities, including six of my friends from the Dartmouth class of '03 (my official class year, even though I graduated two years late). It was a hot weekend but we enjoyed ourselves immensely in Hanover and up at Hinman Cabin in Lyme, N.H. My friends Abby and Tracy helped me get everything packed up, and we drove back to Maine and spent a few (much cooler and rainier, but still idyllic) days, including my birthday, in Cape Elizabeth and on Peaks Island. I got some fantastic graduation and birthday presents, including an issue of Playboy from the month and year of my birth and a beautiful photomicrograph of a snowflake taken by William Bentley, the guy who supposedly first hypothesized that — you guessed it — no two are alike. He called snowflakes "exquisite crystals from cloudland."