My Favorite Ritual

4:00PM — Public rises as Examination Committee and Master’s Candidate, Sean Hutzell (AGI’17), file into King William Room and circle around center table. Committee Member Ludwig presents Mr. Hutzell to Committee Chair Townsend. “Please be seated.” Public sits; Examination Committee and Candidate doff their tams and sit at center table. Candidate reads aloud precís to his essay, “Of Erotics and Fidelity to Virtuous, Civic Action: A Study of Diotima’s Speech in Plato’s Symposium and Aspasia’s Speech in Plato’s Menexenus.”

4:05PM — Examination begins. Questions by Chair and two other Committee members elicit deep consideration and reexamination from Candidate anent his essay. Love; desire; friendship; citizenship; femininity. Public, meanwhile, looks on in support or off in wonder.IMG_3267

5:00PM — Chair ends examination. All rise; Examination Committee and Candidate re-don their caps and exit to nearby robing room. Upon exit, public unanimously applauds. Public files out of Barr-Buchanan Center and forms semi-circle facing front steps.

5:05PM — De-robed Candidate emerges to another round of applause from public. Handshakes and congratulations. Champagne successfully popped.IMG_3272

Catching up with Sean Hutzell (AGI’17) after his Examination, I heard his own take on the proceedings: “I was very pleased with the committee! I think the conversation served as a continuation of the essay, asking and answering questions that will require more exploration.”

And what’s next?

“I recently received a Distinguished Certification in the Sales and Service of Scotch Whisky and a Diploma in Single Malt from the Edinburgh Whisky Academy: I am now comfortable with (and available for) hosting seminars and tastings!”

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