Sunday, March 28, 2010

Thoughts on a graduation (again)


I was at the PICC (again) yesterday afternoon for a graduation (yet again). Okay. Let me explain that previous sentence - as professor at DLS-CSB, I am required to attend as many graduations as possible and the school holds one every term and each one is held at the PICC.

But yesterday was a bit more memorable because my son was graduating from College. Yay! The bad news is that he was part of around 1,200 new nursing graduates from just one school. I think we easily produced 100,000 new nurses this graduation season. But the prospects for nurses still look bright - daw. Besides, my son really wanted to take up nursing anyway. Am hoping he goes to Medical school but that's wishful thinking. He is typical of his generation - he wants things quick. He wants instant gratification. He has no patience for processes and for things he doesn't see practical use for.

Anyway. Because I have attended so many of these graduation ceremonies in the last ten years I have become quite detached from it all. We at DLS-CSB has reduced it to a science, our graduation ceremonies operate like clockwork. I know, though, that the experience mean more to the graduates as it should be. It's their graduation, after all.

So I was quite annoyed yesterday that the focus of my son's graduation ceremonies were not the graduates it seemed but the officials of the school. While the graduates were herded into the hall like driven cattle, the school officials were treated like absolute monarchs. Each school official was introduced as he or she entered the hall and believe it or not, they waited until the official actually got onstage before they called on the next one. Each official had to march alone from the door of the PICC Plenary Hall down to the aisle, up to the stage. The entrance of the administrators, trustees, etc, took all of 20 minutes!!!

As if these were not enough, each speaker had to not only recognize each of the administrators one by one (roll call!!!), they actually were asked to stand up by at least three people who had roles in the program. Overkill!!! I complained about it to my son on the way home and he basically confirmed that that is the way officials in that college are treated in every occasion.

Anyway. I couldn't help but really notice just how different members of today's generation really are from say, my generation. During my graduation, we were sooooooooo formal and behaved according to established protocols. We were told that a graduation gown was a very sacred thing to wear.

Today's generation are definitely more expressive and comfortable with their feelings. They cheered, howled, jumped in the air. They are more natural.

When our graduation ceremonies were over, we also threw our graduation caps into the air but we shed tears while that song from Bagets played endlessly (am sure you know that song!). Yesterday, the graduates immediately hopped and danced to "I got a feeling...that tonight's gonna be a good night." Whew.

Anyway (again). To members of the 2010 class - congratulations!

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