Monday, May 17, 2010

How to Graduate.

Dear soon to be former students:

You have begged, borrowed, stolen, done some work and have made it to finish line...your graduation day. As an experienced faculty marshall for these kind of events (we think, so you don't have to), here are important tips to make your graduation a success.

Your family:
I told my parents
the wrong day.
  • By all means, invite as many family members as your ticket allotment allows. But please, if you wish to bring a larger posse with you, arrange trades with your fellow students PRIOR to arriving at the coliseum where the ceremony will be held. Our ushers don't like it when you yell them "Who should have to wait in the hot car? Great-grandma or my toddler cousin?"
  • Please inform your family that Uncle Cletus's best, nearly clean wife-beater, flip flops and Skoal cap might make him feel slightly underdressed for the occasion.
  • I know your family is excited that you are graduating and they want to represent for you. However, if the people in the room can't hear the name of the next graduate when it is called over the 6-foot-high speakers, that's a problem.
  • No. Air. Horns.
Arrival at the facility:
  • We ask you to arrive one hour before the ceremony is scheduled to begin. If you arrive fewer than 15 minutes before the processional, this is a problem, as we have to get you in alphabetical order.
  • If you know you will be "celebrating" until the wee hours the night before, you might wish to have your Mommy come by and make sure you are awake in time to arrive that 15 minutes before. It makes her feel like she is still important in your life and she has seen you vomit before, so it's ok. Depending on the liveliness of the celebration, you may wish to rise an additional 5 minutes early in order to wash the detrius of the festivities out of your hair. It look bad in the pictures.
  • If your baby's due date was yesterday, please consider seriously if you should be there. Having to run into the bathroom every 10 minutes to check on you takes me away from other important graduation duties.
  • If you want your family to see you in the seated group of graduates, remember that of the 600 of you down there, approximately 80 will have Hi Mom written with the masking tape they were using to seal up boxes yesterday.
  • Graduation gowns can be ironed, if you don't want the "square lines from being packaged" look.
  • I don't have an extra hat or tassel or bobby pins for you, so don't ask.
  • If your shoes have heels more than 3 inches high, you will trip going both up and down the platform. I guarantee it.
Conduct during the ceremony:
  • Your iPhone screen glows white hot in the middle of a fleld of black in a dark room.
  • It's a big coliseum, so we put your beautiful face on a huge screen for all to see when you get your degree. Gum and dip does not look so good at 20 feet high.
  • Please do not assault the president.
  • Keep your shoes on until you have crossed the stage. You won't have time to find them.
  • If you try to leave as soon as you walk, I, and all the other faculty who have to sit there until the bitter end, will glare at you.