Friday, May 26, 2006

Ceremonies and Circumstance

Last night, at just before 10 p.m. (aka almost my bedtime), I remembered that I needed to start packing for my one night out of town. My parents and I are staying the night in SJ tonight, the day before my graduation, in order to avoid the ridiculous amounts of traffic (up to 20,000 cars) that I saw predicted online.

It turns out that all week I've been forgetting this small detail. Did I print out directions? No. Did I print out the hotel reservation? No. How early do I usually back before a weekend excursion? Oh, two or three days.

As I ran around between my bedroom and bathroom, trying to think about what one might need for a graduation ceremony, I realized that I really haven't given the graduation ceremony much thought. Sure, I ordered my regalia the first day it became available, but only because there was a discount on the price and I worried that I would forget. It turns out that I knew myself only too well!

I think that this graduation ceremony seems less memorable for a few reasons:

1) In high school and in undergrad, all of my friends were graduating too, so we were all running around preparing. In high school, this meant an insane amount of practicing walking down the stairs at the direction of our teachers (although what walking down stairs in a plaid uniform skirt and sturdy brown shoes has in common with walking in a graduation gown and high heels, I'll never know). In college, it meant sharing the cost of renting a gown (thanks, Erica), going to the student store together to order announcements and other fun stuff. I'm pretty much alone in the preparation for this ceremony and didn't even send out announcements.

2) I have to have this degree in order to enter my chosen profession. So, I don't feel "special" because of it. It's like an initiation - everyone has to go through cataloging (which was actually rather fun, in a crazy sort of way) before they can plan programs for kids.

3) To me, the best part of graduation was turning in my last assignment and no longer having homework.

4) My party isn't for a couple of weeks!

Still and all, I'm excited about graduating, and as long as I remember to show up tomorrow to get "hooded" (that also sounds like some sort of bizarre initiation ritual), I'll be alright :).

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