on a ethnographic note: Italian graduations in no way resemble American ones; they're formally more similar to the process I went through getting my MPhil, that weird degree in between an MA and a PhD that is unrecognized by anyone who has not or does not aspire to complete it. The would-be graduate files into a lecture room with an entourage of supporters, sits facing a panel of bored professors who ask a few questions about the thesis paper the candidate has prepared, and attempts to improvise something intelligent. The professors shuffle around papers that probably have nothing to do with the process at hand, perhaps listen in to a few minutes of the ten minute discussion, and uncerimoniously cut off the discussion to dismiss everyone, confer for thirty seconds, then readmit everyone to shake hands, pronounce the candidate graduated, and that is it. Everyone files back out into the hallway to hug and kiss and laugh, crown the graduate with a laurel wreath, pop champagne corks and light cigars. Songs are sung, ritual humilations of the "dottore" enforced, and the family takes everyone for a drink or meal. Then they party.
new dottoresse: M and G, sorellina J plays piano
M refuses to wear the laurels
"flowers" for S: chickory, peppers, a fungo and Beethoven
S, aka "Dottore Cicoria"
the dashing Dottore G