I hate graduation (a rant)

omigod…uh…did you have a good time?

I did the crossword puzzle during my graduation ceremony. Upon reading that I feel that I made the correct choice.

Homer Simpson: It was just lying in some guy’s boat!

Ya, right. At a high school graduation? In the rain? With bad valedictorian speakers?

I have a no graduation ceremony policy until I have children from here on out.


Geez I wish that was all I had to deal with at my graduation last year. I spent forever in the hot Mojave desert noonday sun listening to the local ambulance chaser ramble on about Reagan. Then in the middle “Gosh it’s hot up here” quoth he sitting in the shade running his mouth.

Sez the president of the school: “I now confer upon you blah blah blah blah”. That was all I heard. I flipped my tassle. “Let’s get the fuck out of here” I said to my friend Carissa. And that was my first graduation ever. I wouldn’t go to the one after I get my bachelors’ except I think my family would be pissed.

Ok, I lie. I still want to go. Maybe they’ll put me on the 'tron!

This is how you know the graduation took place in the Lancaster/Palmdale area. smirk

The only graduation I ever went to was my high school one, and since I graduated from independent study, there were all of 13 of us. We had one speech from one fo the independent study teachers saying how proud they were of us that we overcame our obstacles to graduate…they called our names, we tossed the caps, and it was over.

That’s a relief…I thought maybe one of the speakers might’ve been your kid. :o

That, and an education. Were you expecting a trophy?

Damn Straight! A Chocolate trophy filled with candy.

My high school graduation class had over 700 people. The ceremony took over 4 hours, and I didn’t even get a piece of paper. I received a folder to put my diploma in, to get the dipolma I had to go to the administration building.
My college graduation is in August; my parents are making me walk. I am planning on coming down with a bug.

At my cousin’s college graduation, the big deal speaker was country singer Tim McGraw, who was receiving an honorary degree. You would have thought it was a concert or something, as excited as people were to see him. I have no complaint about the man himself; he made a short speech that wasn’t boring.

I’ve never gotten my piece of paper at the graduation ceremony itself. In high school, we had to go back to our homerooms for them, where they were waiting on our desks. In college, we had to go to a room in the stadium and get them from the official degree-hander-outers.

I’m not walking this December. I’ll walk for the master’s degree if I decide to go for it, though.

Heh. Good rant. When I graduated in 2003, my valedictorians said that no previous generation had experienced hardship or difficulty in the way that our own had due to September 11th.

Hmmm, really…

Those “Greatest Generation” punks aren’t going to be giving up that title without a fight.

Last week, I attended my niece’s graduation from a private boarding school. There were 28 graduates. It was held outdoors in the sun. Thankfully, there was a bit of a breeze and they distributed water to everyone.

The absolute worse speech was given by the director of the school. If Bartlett’s was outlawed, he’d truly be speechless. He even quoted Woody Allen - that was unexpected. There was no valedictorian, and the student speaker was chosen by the students. As the girl came to the podium, I nudged my husband and wondered how many times she’d say “Webster’s defines…” as most student speakers are fond of doing. At my daughter’s graduation last year, I must have heard it a dozen times. To my amazement, this girl never said it. Nor did she quote anyone. She spoke about what they were going to face and about what they would take with them from the school. It was well done, short, and to the point. I was very impressed.

I was also thankful that the whole thing, from marching in with the bagpiper to the graduates tossing their bouquets of daisies in the air, lasted about 75 minutes. Next graduation I attend should be my daughter’s from college, should she decide to attend. I blew off my own, but then I finished in December but Purdue only had one graduation in the spring. No way was I going back. I got my diploma in the mail.

I never did the high school graduation thing, but I kept at it at university until I got it right.

The first time, they went down the rows, class by class, skipped over me, and continued down the rows. Eventually they got back to me, but for about half an hour I was wondering what had screwed up to prevent me from graduating.

The second time, it was so hot in the auditorium that I dislocated a couple of ribs due to a heat cramp.

The third time, they had us line up for a procession. Some bright bulb decided to line us up underground in a steam tunnel. It got so hot that a couple of my classmates fainted.

The fourth time, all went well. Afterward, my sister held a formal reception that deteriorated into a delightful dinner ending with about a dozen of us at the table, a coronet, a fox horn, a couple of dogs chasing half a dozen cats, and way too much good cheer. Finally I had closure.

The only commencement ceremony I attended was for high school, because it was required. And it unmitigated hell.

It was stifling hot, we had to rent hideous polyester sweatbag robes, it poured rain so it was held in the gym, my mother was furious that she had to be there, people dropped like pole-axed cattle from the heat (fun job for med evacuations from the bleachers!), every car parked in overflow lots sunk in mud to the axles, and the stupid faux leather folders handed out at the robotic troop-across-the-stage procession were empty. Yep, held nuthin’. The spiffy piece of paper was only redeemed at a window in exchange for our sopping polyester robes.

My mother’s sole comment, snarled through her teeth: “Don’t ever ask me to do this again.”

She was right, though for misplaced reasons.

Bachelor’s degree: University of Cincinnnati, graduation in crumbling stadium named for some guy nobody remembered–with tornados overhead. I sat in shorts and a tank top, drink in hand, on the equally crumbling balcony of student housing and dispassionately watched the clusterfuck inside and out.

1st Masters degree: Don’t remember. Fled as soon as the brouhaha was even mentioned.

2nd. Masters degree: See above.

I’ve been to a few that were actually kind of touching. They were at small schools, though, and I only attended out of reluctant politeness. The valedictorian’s performance nerves were only appropriate. He crafted his speech well, and delivered it well. The students and faculty were the focus, not paid, imported pundits.

The main thing I remember from my high school graduation was some speaker who tried to give a long and boring speech. However, about halfway through, he had some sort of cerebrovascular incident, went death-white, froze solid, and lost the power of speech. He had to be taken off the stage in a wheelchair. Kind of put a damper on the rest of the event.

Of course, the only reason I was there in the first place was because my parents insisted that I had to attend my own graduation. Now that I’m free and independent, never more shall I walk across the stage. When it comes time for me to get my university-issued sheet of paper, they can mail that shit to me.

I no longer go to graduations at the high school where I teach and I only feel a little guilty. They are always awful. Five hundred students and there must be three thousand people in the bleachers. It’s always hot, 105-110 degrees, and windy. You would think this would be good, a nice cooling breeze. No, it’s like god’s hairdryer and he’s feeling bloated and bitchy today. All those cars and people stir up dust, so you’re coated in grit. When the sun finally starts to go down out come the bugs, huge grasshoppers and some kind of stinging beetle included, and the cattle yards start to stink. Now the grit coating my entire body has a smell, beautiful, just perfect.

In the stands, I must have been the only person who actually sat down, everybody else was walking around like it was a mixer, not a graduation, and I’ve got a concussion because every one of the five million women who’ve scooted past me has hit me with her purse and every man has stepped on my feet, kicked me in the shins or paused in front of me so that I’m getting much more familiar with his crotch than I ever could be drunk enough to enjoy. And dear god man, when it smells like that you go to the doctor!

People bring not only air horns, but conch shells to blow and pots and pans to bang, cow bells, and whatever the hell those flexible tube things are. Luckily, decorum is restored when somebody starts throwing inflatable sex dolls around (with various graduates’ names written in marker, and yes, their parents think it’s hilarious). So many people packed together in that heat and we start to out-stink the cattle.

The guys announcing the graduates’ names (the loudspeakers are set high enough that I lose my hearing for a couple of hours after) seem to think they’re auditioning for the WWF and also include stupid nicknames. The last few years we’ve had co-valedictorians and salutatorians, so there are no less than five speeches and every single one is an incoherent ramble about jesus and mom and ‘once a bulldog always a bulldog.’ Same goes for all the school board members, principals, counselors, class advisors, and guest speakers.

After a minimum of three hours I finally get to my car to find some asshole has put a ding in the door. This happened every damned year. My car is a tiny miata, how the *fuck * do you not have enough room to open your doors without hitting my car? I wait for traffic to die down, but it just gets worse because now people are driving like maniacs, some on the lawns of the people who live across the street. They’re throwing eggs and drinking and I don’t want to be there when the shit really hits the fan and the rival gangs finally start fighting instead of just pushing and yelling. There’s not a single cop anywhere even though we’ve been told they’re pulling in every officer to cover the event. So I give up waiting and inch out of the lot and forty minutes later I’ve finally gotten to the edge of town, maybe four whole blocks. At least the seniors who didn’t graduate didn’t try to run me off the road like they did another teacher a couple of years ago.

So yeah, I don’t go to graduations anymore.

The last graduation I attended.

The next one will be this December, when I (hopefully) graduate with my bachelor’s. I’m walking; I’ve worked too hard not to. Fortunately, this will be indoors. In the gym, but indoors. I plan to bring the crossword puzzle, or if I’m lucky enough to sit next to the person I think I’ll be sitting next to, we’ll both have a grand old time.


My high school graduation was over pretty quick and they did a very good job. Four speakers (three of them students), each kept to a brief speech. A handful of awards, and then they march those kids through like mad. 500+ students, and they’re all moved through in 45 monites. Total time for the huge class? Less than hour and a half.

But there ius one thing which pissed me the shizz off. Air horns. My hearing is a mite sensitive, at elast, compared all all these other people who’ve gone deaf. Those things hurt. A lot. I had to get up and wander off, and began having fantasies along these lines:

Graduation Ceremony Opener

Greeter: Attention Ladies and Gentlemen, and all you a-holes with airhorns. We have stationed mercenary snipers in the balcony above you. They have sonic trackers attached to their rifles.



Greeter: Ah, it seems Mr. Phelp’s parents found out what a sonic tracker is for. I hope we won’t have any more… interruptions.

Then Darth Vader got involved and all went weird. I didn’t attend my colege graduation.

Well, give them credit for mentioning it. Unlike the ceremony I attended, where the greatest hardship and difficulty the class of '05 had to overcome was being robbed out of the spirit competition. Where did they find the courage to continue? They are truly an inspiritation to us all.