I picked my graduation announcements because I’ve been addressing envelopes recently and I thought they would make a poignant entry. I’m missing my college graduation because of the pandemic. That being said, I am tired of the praise inundating the class of 2020 for being brave. We had no choice. Nothing about this matter is brave. I find the cheerfulness and good wishes hollow and I do not hold with sentimentality. I did, however, choose to order graduation announcements for a celebration that no longer exists. Why? I love paper. Having my name printed under the university seal on beautiful woven paper is actually something I’ve looked forward to. It feels official to me in a time when so many things are warped and disjunctive. I like the materiality of the messages they hold. In today’s world using paper to communicate is a conscious choice. It is the slowest method of communication but a hardy one. Paper mail is so exciting, especially while we are all home bound. This is an object that my recipients can keep, a memento of my experience, for what should have been.
I did not take graduation photos in a robe as I never got around to ordering my robe. Luckily I found some leftover photos from a picture day in preschool and I’m attaching those. I think it’s funny to alter what is traditionally a very staid announcement with a preschool photo. It’s the sort of levity I want these days. The university will soon award me another piece of paper, larger, that lives in a frame, but these announcements are a way for me to think over what will not be and still celebrate my college experience.