CCMBA 2010d Graduation Speech – Farman Syed

Graduation Weekend

Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion. – C. Northcote Parkinson, 1955

Parkinson’s quote has many corollaries…perhaps the Zwitch version would be “Life expands so as to fill the time available.”

It’s already been 10 days since Graduation, but I’ve hardly noticed the time go by.  From starting a new job, to taking care of all sorts of ‘deferred’ chores and participating in other experiences, it doesn’t really feel like I have all the free time that was expected once the last finals were turned in!

My graduation weekend started Friday morning as a road trip with my wife and my Mom from Philadelphia to Durham.  The funny thing about Philadelphia, or maybe just the East Coast in general, is that there are so many places that are just close enough where you don’t want to fly.  Durham fits that description; at just about 7 hours, driving is probably the better choice as long as there’s no traffic or construction.  Of course, there’s never no construction, but between slow driving and getting molested by the TSA at the airport, driving tends to win out.

After arriving in Durham and checking in to the hotel, we had about an hour or so that we wanted to kill before dinner, so I drove around the Duke campus in an attempt to show off “the sights”.  The funny thing is, because I’ve only really spent two weeks on campus (and really, just West Campus at Fuqua), I didn’t actually know how to get anywhere!  Nevertheless, we drove around the perimeter of campus for a bit, then headed over to Bullock’s BBQ.  The pulled pork and ribs platter alone is worth the 7+ hour drive…

Later in the evening, my wife and I went to Bull McCabe’s to meet up with whomever was already in town.  Although it was very hot and humid that night (and sweltering inside the bar), it was great seeing the other weary travelers that, frankly, I’ve been remiss in keeping in contact with other than Facebook.  But rather than make the same mistake I had done twice before at prior graduations, I declined to stay out all night partying, so that I could be fresh on Saturday to pick up my cap and gown and walk across the stage at Cameron.  Of course, with a 1:30 p.m. graduation, it’s not like I had to set an alarm to make sure I was awake in time…