Graduation is a time of celebration. After 4 years, 5 for some people, of hard academic work, you get all dressed up in a gown, listen to people talk, receive a piece of paper, and your parents express how proud they are of you. This marks your academic achievement of the institution; you are now a graduate, an alum. After all of the pomp and circumstance, chances are that you’re in debt, the institution is asking you for money already, and you’re trying to figure out what you’re going to do next. However, for once, I was able to be on the other side of the pomp & circumstance. Talk about a different world.
Honestly, graduation is the most boring ceremony in the world. No wonder professors, teachers, and instructors dread and try to avoid it. I had the honor to witness the final graduation of Archbishop Quigley. I processed with my academic hood (which is still years from becoming a reality) amongst my fellow faculty members. I sat behind the Class of 2007 and witness graduation from the other perspective for the first time. Here’s what I learned:
– If you don’t have to put your robe on, hold out until the very last minute. It gets very hot inside.
– The gown sleeves can double as pockets.
– The showing of legs is only allowed if you have the legs for it. That means men can’t wear shorts. It looks very bad.
– Ladies, just because you get to wear skirts doesn’t help the fact that you one-upped your male counterparts. You’re only making us jealous that you’re able to fan your legs and keep cool.
– Academic hoods look nice, but they are a hassle to put on and stay on. Let’s not forget when you sit down, it’s just all over the place.
– When fixing someone’s academic hood, make sure you don’t choke them. Unless 4 of you are helping and chocking the person at the same time. Then it’s funny.
– Safety pins are a must. Enough said.
– Partner up with who you want to sit with and make sure they are processing in front or behind you, never beside you. They will keep you company throughout the whole ceremony.
– Look straight ahead when you process in, this way you avoid awkward eye contact from a parent who you don’t remember the name of, but will probably talk to afterwards.
– Remember to look serious into the camera. This way you hide your “Is it over yet?” face.
– You will read through the program at least 8 times.
– You start to tally how many times your boss says “umm.” Marty said it 34 times.
– Jokes are allowed and encouraged. That’s how you stay cool and awake through these long ceremonies.
– When mass is over, that signals halftime. You’re halfway through!
– Bring tissue, you never know.
– When the students express their joy, know that you’re at the final stretch.
– As you process out, walk as fast as you can. You’re too hot and the gown needs to go. Remember to have deodorant ready.
– When taking off your gown, remember where the safety pins are. It will save you from embarrassment.
– Receptions are crowded and hot. Say hi/bye and leave as soon as possible. They are graduates now. Good riddance.
– There’s always an after party. Just because the graduates have them doesn’t mean faculty can’t either.
And now you know.