Friday, May 30, 2008


Today is Christian's graduation ceremony. This calls to mind a speech he gave a couple of years ago about the stacked and recursive nature of liminality. "Stacked" due to the fact that waiting at the finish line of one set of preliminal, liminal, and postliminal phases is a completely new set. "Recursive" because any individual phase could also contain a preliminal, liminal, and postliminal phase.

He used college to explain:
  • preliminal -- separating yourself from your every day, deciding to embark
  • liminal -- taking classes, learning
  • postliminal -- graduating, integrating back into the world as a changed person
The graduation ceremony, part of the of the postliminal phase of going to college can also be dissected into three phases:
  • preliminal -- separating yourself from your every day, donning a gown
  • liminal -- walking, receiving your diploma
  • postliminal -- being introduced to the world as a graduate

Today was a great example.

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