It wasn’t the same plan I had back in the 70s… college was four years and out. For Becky, I think it came to 7.
It might have been shorter had she done things the way Dad had suggested, going to Canada Jr College for the first two years (like Dad did) before transfering. But Dad was told, in no uncertain terms, that Becky was too good for Jr College, and Dad’s protestations that “goodness” had nothing to do with it were for naught. In the end, Becky sandwiched Canada in-between a rocky beginning at UC Santa Cruz and a magnificent finale, as she found something that really interested her (Anthropology/Archaeology) and applied herself to her studies, probably with more zeal than Dad did, so many years ago.
It’s an odd thing, visiting your old school again, remembering what it was like leaving it for the last time. She didn’t actually have such feelings about leaving; certainly nothing like the emotions expressed when we dropped her off for the first time, tearful good-byes that seemed out of place given that Santa Cruz is only 50 miles away and we’ve got these things called cell-phones instead of the telegraph when I was there. That’s OK; life isn’t always experienced with the same linearity from person to person, but there seem to be central core themes that show up. Which, of course, was the subject of one of my classes way-back-when, Birth of a Poet. A course built around Joeseph Campbell’s book “The Hero with a Thousand Faces“, the book that George Lucas took to heart when writing Star Wars. Becky just did things in a different order.
And that builds a nice seque back to the graduation ceremonies, which are done a bit differently at UC Santa Cruz. First, each college (of which there are 10 on campus) has its own separate graduation, giving each college an opportunity to personalize things a bit. Stevenson, Beckys college (and Dad’s too, back in the day) has the grads enter to The Imperial March, aka Darth Vader’s theme. It’s really pretty cool, but could have benefitted from some strong sub-woofers and carried through as they actually entered the stage, not just marching down the hill. And yes, I looked around and saw no Imperial Walkers either. That would be been the icing on the cake.