On Saturday, we attended the Hamilton College commencement ceremony because it was the last commencement where my dad would be College Marshall–the person who leads the ceremony and directs everyone. (Here he is calling the ceremony to order.) He retires this year.

Calling Commencement to Order

Here he is after the ceremony. Do you think he looks happy to be finished?

Dad in the Gauntlet

He doesn’t look old enough to be retiring! He’s not actually going to stop teaching. As an emeritus professor, he’ll teach one course per semester, but not have any administrative work that goes with a full time job.

My dad is an English professor, and he is a huge influence on my career as a writer. His influence began when he read to me as a little kid–everything from nursery rhymes to Robinson Crusoe. He reviewed and commented on practically everything I wrote through grade school, high-school, and college; he’s taught me more than anyone about how to write.

Anyway, after all of the marching in at the ceremony, once the speeches had started, I pulled out a sock I was crocheting and began to work on it. Selma, who had forgotten the book she was going to read, was watching me intently, and after a few minutes, I handed her the sock. I had tried to teach her to crochet a year or so ago, but she wasn’t interested, so I didn’t push it. This time, however, I didn’t really teach her, I just gave a little non-verbal advice when she got stuck, and it all came naturally–I think the fact that I couldn’t talk (because we were in a ceremony) helped–I probably would have given too much advice and annoyed her. This way, I let her work it out on her own. I also think the smallness of the sock yarn and hook may have been a better fit for her small hands than worsted weight and a big 5mm hook. Here she is continuing her work at the picnic after the ceremony.

Selma's Learning to Crochet

Of course, she has another new fiber love, she learned to spin at Maryland sheep and wool:

She also designed her very own batt on Rebecca’s drum carder:

So it will be interesting to see what keeps her attention.

Today the movers came and took away our express shipment including, (GULP!) all my stitch dictionaries. I’m feeling a little naked without them.

Crocheting in spite of me…