Please excuse the brief tangent on birds -- back to Friday night and the retirement party. Well, there was a full program to honor my colleague, and it was very much keeping in tune with her personality. There was singing, dancing, and sea shanties. Yes, you read that correctly, sea shanties by an amateur sea shanty singing group. I've jumped ahead -- here are the highlights:
A waltz by the ballroom dancing club. Many of these were former students of mine! They were lovely.
A tribute by a former student who told Faye that she was a model and an inspiration for all "us nerds."
A tribute by Department Head and friend who gave away the Department gifts -- the best of which was an award to be given in her name, yearly, to the best Freshman writer. (Okay, I really teared up at this one).
A speech by the Admiral, who doesn't know her very well but spent two hours reading her Live Journal and freakin' QUOTED it at the ceremony. Let that be a lesson to you all. But the Admiral is very funny and has an extremely dry delivery. Though self-described as "boring," Kate leaned over to me and said "he's pretty funny." Hey, power and a sense of humor -- not a bad combination.
Faye said a few words as well, in which she quoted poetry and sang. She also made a reference to Bilbo's birthday party. All of this was very much in keeping with her personality. Very sweet.
I kinda wished I had begged to be on the program now.
Then she joined the Sea Shanty group which got the entire crowd to chime in on the chorus (including the Glee club which were having a great time). One member even improvised a verse for Faye on the spot.
I'm sure I've left out some other high points to which Kate and Gene can add. These were my favorite moments. We then left to go out into the cold and to the reception. Surprisingly, given the state of chaos in the afternoon, it was a wonderful reception. The noodle kugel was sublime (that should be the title of a novel) and I was so hungry, I ate a lot.
Our fears that the cake was not going to big enough were way off. A lot of people declined, even though I helped in serving and cajoled many attendees to have a piece. Boy, was it sweet!
At the reception, there were a few more presents and speeches, but all in all, it was pretty informal. I never even got to talk to Faye much since she had so many friends -- some of whom were from out of town-- that I could only hug her as we were leaving.
Kate and Gene stayed over. we had a few drinks, watched some crazy anime as I am wont to thrust upon them. Then it was up for lox and bagels and to Elena and Rod's for lunch. Unfortunately, since I'm such a wuss in the snow, once I saw any accumulation on the roads, I was out of there. Some of the hardy souls I left behind went sledding down the golf course behind their house (in the summertime, when attending bbqs there, the course lends a sense of danger that one will be beaned by a golfball). Okay, I fulfilled my promise and told the rest of the story.