The Hassle of the Tassel

Dear soon-to-be graduate, 

image of woman wearing facemask with sun in background

My name is Sophia, and I am in my last quarter at Western Washington. 

School has been online for about 10 weeks, and I am feeling as we approach “the big day” (to quote my mother) that I don’t have much desire for the typical acknowledgments of graduation — there will be no cap or gown, no family flying in, no party with kegs or cake. My celebration disassociation is threaded with by feelings of anticipation and grief and ambiguity that have resonated during the entirety of this pandemic. 

So, as I reflect on these feelings and desires in myself, I am asking you: what is keeping you motivated? To turn in the final assignments? To distract you in between zoom meetings? To nurture your own processes? How are you acknowledging this life transition? Where are you right now? 

The goal for this project is for you, dear graduate, to share and submit a piece of your coronavirus-influenced puzzle that you would like to be archived. 

I am not just looking for your senior photos. I am looking for your COVID-19 playlists. I am looking for your unfinished journal entry, pictures of the masks you sewed for your roommates, clips of the song you’ve been writing, images of the new paint you ordered online, the garden plot you finally weeded. Not attending a zoom ceremony? What is it that you are doing to honor the time we’ve spent in school? Take a video of yourself walking into work, or jumping into Bellingham Bay, or snuggling with your dog. And maybe you are attending a ceremony. How did you get ready? What did you wear? Take a picture of where you sat. Submit a doodle of how it felt. 

With the help of Whatcom County Libraries, my hope for your submission(s) is that we can truly capture our voices, our language, and our transitions as 2020 graduates. And, with additional help from WWU Heritage Resources and permission from you (the submitter), my hope is to archive as many pieces as we can — saving and documenting this moment, our story, for generations of graduates to come. 

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Ready to submit something? Have questions on how to submit?

All of your questions, images, audio, and more should be sent to my email: