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Monday, June 06, 2005

The Travelling Convo Gown

[In a slightly museful mood]

Anyone read this book, called the Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants? The story revolves around 4 girls, who share a pair of miraculous pants. I say miraculous, because when each of the 4 girls wear the Pants, they look instantly fabulous in it.

[I don't know where they found such a miraculous pair of pants, 'cos no way are my girlfriends able to share tee shirts with me, let alone a pair of pants.]

Anyway, at the time of the story, they're spending their first summer away from each other. In order to remember each other, and have a memento of their summer, they decide to send the pants to each other throughout the summer, and each one is supposed to write a kinda memory on the pants of what happened to her while wearing the pants.

The thought of the book came to me just on Sunday, when Turtle came to my house to try on the convocation gown, since Turtle is graduating from NUSSUX this year, from the same faculty that I graduated from last year.

[btw, those convo gowns are very symbolic and all, but for all practical purposes, they're the most useless piece of apparel you can ever own in your lifetime. I mean, seriously, what ARE you going to do with the gown after graduating, besides taking a few nice pictures?]

That gown has something of a history behind it by this point of time. The gown was originally Quet's, and it saw HER being graduated, together with the rest of Yenn, Krynn, Kairos and so on. Since Candle and I were taking a double major and hence doomed to spend one more year in NUSSUX, we could only spend the ceremony looking wistfully on, and making everyone promise to come for OUR graduation the next year. [which none of you did, you meanies. *sulk*]

The gown spent one year languishing in Quet's closet, till it was MY turn to be graduated. This time around, Quet, Yenn, Krynn and Kairos had more or less found employment, though with different levels of satisfaction and income (^^!). I had been happily teaching tuition and slacking for about half a year, and fresh back from Europe, and Candle was now in the fruitless quest of looking for a job herself, to buy herself out of her servitude to the spore gahmen. We all proceeded to my house for dinner and drinks, during which Yenn and I got gloriously intoxicated. [these are the best kind of parties. ;) ]

THIS time around, it's been a year since I graduated. I've been teaching tuition all this while, and now am almost about to enter Mr Moe's establishment to teach for real. The gown gets passed on to Turtle, who has also signed up with Mr Moe like me, and also about to enter NIE. It's been a tough phase of life for him, career and love-wise, and he's slightly cynical about life as it is. He was slightly in doubt about his choice, but is willing to take things as they come, and see how this goes.

Quite a number of stories this gown has seen, passed down through 3 generations of bizaders. (^^!) And quite amazing that it has lasted that long. A unique thing about a convocation gown also is that it always accompanies its user in his or her most pivotal point of life. That time when you're just on the brink between adulthood and studenthood [childhood seems a bit juvenile]. You're still fresh with hope about the future, content to take things as it comes, and maybe even a bit eager to jump into your career, and start earning those bucks. [realities like long term financial planning and CPF haven't kicked in at this point]

And the unique thing about this ONE gown, is that by now, it's gone through 3 sets of individual hopes, aspirations, dreams, and fears. It's almost become like one of those family heirloom things, which you pass down from generation to generation, and which is almost always accompanied by the stories of the numerous family members which have held it.

You almost wonder about the stories that this gown has seen.