Sunday, May 12, 2013

Graduation report

A few things:

1. They didn't send us an e-mail of when and where to show up this year. I thought I was running late when I saw the full parking lots, but I turned out to be one of the first faculty there.

2. The speech was not memorable. A couple moments were, though:

a. Non-traditional (i.e., fortyish) woman student graduating. As she walked across the stage, from out of the stands, a teenaged- or pre-teen- girl voice: "WHOOOO! GO MOM!" Made me smile.

b. Young man walks across the stage, his (large) family (seriously: like fifteen or 20 people, all dressed in identical t-shirts) jumps up and starts cheering and hollering. As he walks back to his seat (with his back to his family but facing the faculty), he facepalms and shakes his head in an "I'm so embarrassed" expression.

c. A young woman in a wheelchair, wearing leg braces, even though they had made the stage fully accessible, got a couple of her friends to lift her up and stand beside her as support so she could actually WALK across the stage (one of the marshals rolled her chair around the back of the stage so she could get back in after she crossed). The "I did it" look on her face was priceless. (And a lot of us were holding our breath, hoping she would make it).

d. A Nepalese student I had in several classes (I think from some things he has said that he is Buddhist) did the traditional "namaste" gesture of respect, very briefly, before the president handed him his diploma. He also did it again walking past some of us who had had him in class.

As much as I bitch on here about some of my students, there are a lot of good and heartwarming things that happen on campus.

Here's hoping summer semester (which starts in 3 weeks) is a good one. (I just found out that I will, in fact, have a TA, and it's likely someone I taught with before who is a good, responsible person)

1 comment:

Dave E. said...

I'm so glad you have those graduation moments. In some ways my dad thought graduation ceremonies were a royal pain in the ass, but then he would always see how much it meant to the graduates and their families and draw some pride in his part in making that happen and be so meaningful to all at the same time. You should take pride in that too.