Graduation Day


We’re in Eugene, Oregon, for the weekend. The big event is our son Thom’s graduation from the journalism and communications school at the University of Oregon (after three years).

We spent a couple hours this morning at the campus’s famous basketball arena, McArthur Court, and watched the new doctorates, masters, and bachelors (of arts) strut their stuff. The speaker was an alum named Dan Wieden, a 1967 graduate of the journalism/communications school. He went on to cofound Wieden+Kennedy, a PR and marketing firm that started out in Portland with a card table, four chairs, a file cabinet, a green lampshade and the stub end of a pencil. Oh, yes, and one client: Nike. Mr. Wieden has done OK for his clients and himself since then, and the firm is now international. He spoke briefly about barely graduating, about dating the professor in the French class he was failing, and about the accelerating pace of change in our world (citing Moore’s Law and Ray Kurzweil’s singularity).

OK. Then the diplomas were handed out. The ethics in journalism professor mangled Thom’s middle name (Cuchulain came out as KOOSH-a-lin), but that was OK. Then we were leaving campus to come back to Thom’s to pack him up and move him to Berkeley.

Thom had something he wanted to show us on the way back to the house. The tree above. More specifically, two residents of the tree that would be nearly invisible to all but the most attentive passers-by: a pair of nesting western screech owls. They’re little things, well camouflaged; they looked like they were asleep, but their heads pivoted to follow our movements. Below is a cropped version of the top photo in which they show up a little better. (Click pictures for larger versions.)

So that’s it. Packing this afternoon. Dinner tonight. Driving home tomorrow. It wasn’t long ago Kate and I were dropping Thom off up here. The three years have gone very fast.


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