how to do graduations right

May 20, 2013

First off, congrats to my sister! Yep, both of my siblings graduated this year, one right after the other. Sean and I were down in VA yesterday watching my big sister get her Associate Degree!

I am happy for her and also happy to be done with graduation ceremonies for the near future. Good riddance. Ceremonies are nice things that get real old, real fast.

Since I sat through two back to back ceremonies the last two weeks, I have resorted to my favorite pastime of people watching once my sister's name was called and I had to wait on the other 70% of grads to walk. Eesh.

Welp, it got me to thinking a lot of things that my smart alecky self would love to share with you all. A lot of people (from the people running the show to the ones watching it) are doing graduations wrong. Oh, so wrong. Let's laugh at their expense while we discuss:

How to do Graduations Right:

  • It's not about you: I get that graduation classes are getting huge. And the more graduates, the longer the ceremony. So yes, I appreciate whatever measures can be taken to ensure we aren't sitting there longer than we would sit in line to renew our drivers' licenses. However, NOVA, you messed this one up big time: Having the graduates already seated, then having everyone stand for just the faculty procession? NO. it's about the grads. Get over yourselves. You've had your own (several) graduations and as academic faculty, you walk in these things every friggen year. Let these kids have their moment.
  • You don't have to always be PC: Yes, the graduating class in this area is uber diverse. We know. It's very nice of you to try to use accents to properly pronounce the names of said diverse. But, you won't always get it right - don't try to say the name five times when you mess it up the first time. Move on. Oh, and we people with boring white names are fine with you saying them the boring white way. We know our names have no exotic connotation whatsoever.
  • Let's define hat etiquette: Oh, the confusion that ensued among the graduates when time for the national anthem came. It clearly had not been discussed beforehand. I grew up with the rule that gentlemen removed their hats while ladies kept their heads covered. I don't know why, though my guess would be it's an old school custom going back to the scriptures of women covering their heads. Regardless, protocol for this clearly befuddled the female graduates. While it was announced "gentlemen, remove your hats, and ladies, place your hands over your hearts," many ladies removed their caps while some removed them only to hear the directions and put them back on, and the rest never bothered removing them. There seemed to be no consistency in who made what choice (I thought perhaps the older women would be the ones keeping their hats, but no, no common factor among anyone making any choice here). I don't care what the rule is, just pick one and be consistent.
  • This is a ceremony, not the club: When did graduations become the place to meet your next casual hookup? That red ruffly number that barely covers your rump or other lady bits? At a 2 p.m. ceremony? You're a classy one. Leave it at home and cover up. On the other hand...
  • This is a ceremony, not a trailer park: That lacy dress with the open back? It's cute and covers enough to be appropriate...but wait, is that your bra cutting right through that open back? Bras are not accessories and things just went from cute to trashy. I'd say I'd rather you have not dressed up, but your friend who went that route is wearing a very flimsy white shirt with a neon orange bra underneath, just waiting to steal the show! Hmmm...maybe bras are accessories...but let's not bring this trend here.
  • There is strength in numbers: As class sizes grow and we move from an abc order lineup to slapping your name on a card and walking, I got to thinking...I could totally don my old cap and gown and walk at these ceremonies whenever I want, under a fake alias. How fun would that be? I'm thinking Elle Woods!

Oh, but you kiddos are already many steps ahead of me! So many fake names including Bob Hope and Malaria. Way to go, thrill seekers!

What fun commencement debacles have you witnessed this graduation season?


  1. I haven't been to a graduation since my own from grad school but this is hilarious! :-)

  2. lol, you are hilarious! Every graduation I have been too there have been questionable graduate attire - skin to your suggestion that they are hitting up the club afterwards (at 2pm, no less??) Too funny! Congrats to your siblings too!

  3. Bekah, I laughed so hard while reading this that my husband came downstairs to see what all the noise was about! So I invited him to read your post and he's still laughing! I've so been to events like this! Thanks for making our night!
    Congrats to your sisters!
    Blessings to you ~ Mary

  4. Oh my goodness I love how you write. You are pretty hilarious. I was peeing my pants on the lady with the open back dress with the bra showing! Congrats to your sister, and to you too for being done with graduation ceremonies for a while! =D

  5. Praying that the real meaning of the ceremony and the blessing of graduating overdid the silliness. But I can certainly laugh at what people do.
    I am following you at Prowess and Pearls.


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