Sunday, October 30, 2011

a no-show honoree (lyn)

Alexander was selected to be part of The Cornell Tradition.  It’s a program that “awards 500 fellowships each year to Cornell students who demonstrate significant work experience, a commitment to campus and/or community service, and academic achievement.”  There is a breakfast at 8:30 to welcome this year’s inductees.

“Why do I have to go?  It’s so early, and I’m going to be so tired.”  This is our conversation before I arrive, again on Friday, and once more on Saturday when I say good-bye after dinner. 

I get up at 7, and call Alexander around 7:30, to once again remind him that I’ll be there to pick him up around 8.  “Are you up,” I ask.  He groggily responds, “Ya.  Do I really have to go?”  “Yes,” I say; I’ll be there soon."

I get to Alexander’s dorm around 8:10.  I knock on the door and hear his roommate say, “It’s your mom.  Quick, get up.”  I walk in and find Alexander just as I feared I would: sound asleep.

With some prodding, Alexander reluctantly gets up, throws on some jeans, a shirt and a coat, and says, “Okay, let’s go.  But as soon as it’s over, I’m coming back and going to sleep.”  His enthusiasm to attend this event is impressive, as evidenced in this picture.

By the time we arrive, the big room where the event is taking place is filled. There is a line for breakfast, and the many tables are beautifully set with white linens.  “How long is this going to last,” Alexander wants to know.  “I don’t know, not that long,” I say.  “Are you sure?  I’m so tired.  All I want to do is go back and go to sleep.”

I get a breakfast filled with foods I haven’t eaten in at least two years:  home fries, scrambled eggs, two sausages, a small Danish, some fruit, and coffee.  One more day of bad eating and then I’ll be good again.

We take our food to a large table and sit down.  Our table is filled with very nice people…six other adults and one female student.  Everyone is friendly and impressed that Alexander is there.  One mother says, “My son didn’t come.  He was too tired and I let him sleep in.”  Another mother pipes in, “My son too.  He’s in his dorm sleeping.”  At that, Alexander turns to me and says, “That’s it, I’m out of here.”  

The ceremony is lovely.  I tell him about it later.

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