May 20th, 2008

krazy koati

Please don't drive at eight, don't wanna be late again

I do worry about being places on time. I think that's reasonable: it's respectful of the time of someone you plan to meet to be there when they expect you; and when it's an event supposed to get started at a particular time it's rude to expect it to wait for you, and wasteful when you know it almost certainly won't wait anyway.

My brother -- the other one that I don't talk about so much because he lives in a different state -- successfully graduated his Master's program in a wonderfully anticlimactic fashion. (He finally got his advisor to read over his Master's thesis, and was told there wasn't any need for more corrections. Eventually my brother learned what he meant by this: oh, it was a satisfactory thesis and his degree was approved now, after a few years in grad-student limbo.) So he's been visiting for the ceremony. Fortunately it's just for his small school within the university, so it's a ceremony not expected to last through the reading off of six thousand names, but it still means getting up there in enough time for his photography sessions and to get his cap and gown and so on.

I pointed out that I could drive him up early, since I wanted to go to the library and check out books when I have an enormous reading pile already. My brother suggested our father come along. This wasn't what I expected, but ... right, all right then.

The ceremony was set for 7 pm. My brother needed to be up an hour and a quarter early. About 11 am, therefore, my father started knocking on my door to get me up so that we could get going already. Let me make this clear: while we're about an hour away from the university by car, we're not planning to go up by horse-drawn carriage or something like that. He wanted to get going six hours early for the ceremony. I would have thought a half-hour early plenty generous even allowing for traffic. I told them to go ahead first and I'd catch up with them.

Trivia: On 20 May 1946 an army transport plane flying through fog over Manhattan smashed into the 58th floor of 40 Wall Street, killing five and tearing a 20-by-10 foot hole in the masonry. Source: Higher: A Historic Race to the Sky and the Making of a City, Neal Bascomb.

Currently Reading: The Numbers Game: Baseball's Lifelong Fascination with Statistics, Alan Schwarz.