Well, graduation day came and went, and I can’t believe how weird this one was. Leading up to it, I thought, “Well I’ve had graduations before, and they were sort of special. At the very most, this one will be just as special.” But I was expecting it to be very insignificant because first, there’s less time for everybody, and second, I didn’t really know a lot of my fellow graduates. But boy was I wrong.
First off, there was the gooing and gushing of my parents. They were cute. They came down early, took me out for drinks at this little restaurant next door, reserved a place for lunch the next day after graduation, were all gooing over what I would wear, all that good fun.
Then there was the ceremony itself. Weirdness! First, you are directed into a room where “the gowning” would happen. I figured that meant they hand you a gown and you put it on. Nope. They tell you to lift your arms, and they physically put the gown on you! Then they fuss over whether it’s the right length, etc. Then they hand you this thing called a hood that you’re to carry on your left arm in a certain way so the point is pointing in a special direction, for what reason I don’t know. You are then informed that when you get on stage, a woman will take the hood from you and put it on your head. And this woman has a title, all-be-it not a very flattering one. They call her, get ready for it, queue the drum-roll please, the beetle! How would you like that name? You have been reduced to an insect whose sole purpose is to throw pieces of cloth on hundreds of people’s heads.
Then there’s the procession. With so much fanfare that it’s crazy. And of course there’s your five seconds of fame. When it is finally your turn to go up on the stage, you climb the steps, the beetle does her thing, and then you are supposed to kneal in front of…drum-roll again, the chancelor. That great figurehead whose purpose I cannot figure out except to shake our hands and say a few flowery words at graduation. There’s even something weird about him. To me, he sounded like he should be this giant black dude. Well, I got the black part right, but apparently it looks like if you squeezed his hand too hard, you’d break him because he’s so frail and old. At this point you turn your head and someone’s there snapping your picture. And down you come. It’s all over. You’ve stressed about tripping over the knealing bench, looking the right way, etc. and now it’s all behind you. They want their gown and hood back pronto because they’re going to put them on the next sweaty person’s body and head that afternoon. Wonderful thought. You wonder if the person who wore them before you had anything contageous. Then you shake your head and laugh at yourself. And then you remember that you paid for that ceremony…in a small way. And you’re glad you actually decided to go, so at the very least, you have memories of this weirdness.
So that was graduation. Probably you’re all bored. But hell, I thought it was pretty weird. Maybe I’ll come up with something better later.