Graduation Day

May 11, 2008

Today was graduation day at the university where Nancy teaches.  Sounds like it was a nice ceremony.  As always, graduation here reminds me of my own college graduation many, many, many years ago.  

I went to Brown, where the procession leading from the University green to the chapel where the graduation service takes place, goes through a complicated and wonderful marching pattern.  Basically the current graduating class is followed in the procession by older classes back for reunions, as well as by the administration and faculty.  They walk through the university gates and then line the road so that they can cheer as the others walk by.  But as each group walks by the last of the spectators, they themselves move to the roadside and become spectators.  In effect, it’s like continuously turning a sock inside out — each end gets pulled through; each group gets to watch every other group walk by.  Hard to describe clearly.  Suffice it to say that I’ve experienced Brown’s graduation as a graduating senior, as a five year alum, and as a twenty year alum, and eachtime it has been an incredibly moving experience that left me feeling that I was part of a much larger community.

So what about you?  What are graduations like at your colleges or high schools?  Any special experiences?

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2 Responses to “Graduation Day”

  1. Michele Conti said

    My high school graduation was a full day event. Started around six in the morning, getting ready for mass. Then going to mass and having a hell of a time finding parking…mass was 3 hrs long. I’d totally forgot I was supposed to be with the choir, oops. Near to the end all the grads had to go up and get the little piece of flat bread and with 300 students…that took a while. Mass was finally over. Break for breakfast…go to restaurant and sit and listen to mom and dad make smalltalk, they haven’t been in the same room for more than five minutes since I was 4. Off to the grad ceremonies on the other side of the city, try to direct dad through Calgary traffic, not fun given I don’t even drive myself, get there and line up, receive tassel thing, go sit down. Listen to a bunch of nonsense about the progression of life, which has absolutely no bearing on me, at the time, cause Ive got not a clue as to what I want to do with life, for a career, I only know I want to find a good hubby and make babies. Now it’s time to go through the names of people and go up and get the little piece of paper that says you’ve earned your passage into adult-hood. So not ready for this. Go through the 300 peoples names, I’m near the beginning, no more anticipation, just plain boredom. That’s done. Go to dinner. Next morning wake up and try and get ready for the formal events…mom tries to do hair, doesn’t work. Mom spends too much money at a salon to get what she wants done, done, to my hair. Ouch…flowers with bobby pins aren’t fun. Go to dance, go home and pretend to get into pajamas, once boyfriend leaves, get dressed and go with little brother to after party events which boyfriend isnt allowed to go to, cause I don’t like him anymore. Have a lousy time there, cause everyone is drunk, high, bickering, and wanting a lay. Get brother to pay for cab home. Go to sleep. Break up with boyfriend, its only fair to him… Friends have baby, take care of baby for an afternoon and decide I’m so not ready to do THAT every day for the rest of my life…ok…now what?

    I don’t know if that’s typical or not, but it seemed to work for me.

  2. davidbcoe said

    I’m not sure it’s typical either, Michele. But it’s a great read. Thanks for sharing.

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