Saturday, May 7, 2011

graduation blogging

-- One of the stranger aftereffects of having been a Girl Scout is that you can never resist singing "My reindeer flies sideways, yours flies upside down / My reindeer is pea-gree-en, your reindeer is brown" under your breath whenever anyone plays "Pomp and Circumstance." Goodness, I hope I wasn't audible.

-- The guy next to me certainly was audible. Dude, I get it, you have a very nice tenor voice, but you don't need to sing "The Star-Spangled Banner" five times louder than everyone else. Also, I'm pretty sure it is not appropriate to put on a British accent for that particular song.

-- Dear State Commissioner of Higher Education, I appreciate your efforts to keep things short, but a graduation speech should consist of something slightly more inspirational than information about the university cribbed straight from the website and statistics about how much your median earnings go up if you have a bachelor's degree. Especially if a significant number of your own faculty are making roughly $5,000 less than the average for people with bachelor's degrees. This is called adding insult to injury.

-- "To whom much is given, much is expected" is not actually grammatical. I'm pretty sure there's supposed to be an "of those" at the beginning of that sentence.

-- Wow, one of my former students looks almost exactly like the actor who plays Berowne in the Globe Love's Labour's Lost. I didn't realize it until I saw him in his graduation gown. (He kind of has the Berowne attitude, too.)

-- People who cheer, shriek, and shout out graduates' names when they've already been told to hold their applause need to be suppressed like guinea pigs. Yes, I get that you're proud of your son / daughter / other relative / friend, but they are not so much more special than all the other graduates that you get to interrupt the ceremony. (Also, on a catty note, I couldn't help noticing that these are hardly ever people who are graduating cum laude, and I wonder if there's a certain subtext of "congratulations, we can't believe you finally made it through" behind some of the noisier celebrations.)

For all that, I kind of like graduation. There's something special about all the ceremony, and the ridiculously archaic costumes, and the way the faculty line of march starts off totally confused and then turns dignified, somewhere between the Humanities building and the auditorium.

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