The Graduate

Are we not graduates?College graduation season is coming. These are special days full of celebration and ceremony, grand events that mark an important moment of passage.

And that’s why you never, ever want to graduate in December.

It’s a long story why I graduated from SUNY Plattsburgh in December — but I like to think that I got more education by being there an extra semester. What I remember best about graduation was that it was firmly second-rate. When they started playing Pomp and Circumstance on a rickety old piano, we all looked at one another thinking we’d been gypped. The whole thing had the rag-tag feel of an afterthought, sort of, “Oh… we need to throw something together for these December graduates.”

I’ve been to kindergarten graduations that were better planned.

We were increasingly skeptical as fellow student Roger Sadler took the stage to give the commencement address. They couldn’t get anybody else to speak? Rodger Sadler? But Sadler was funny and had a disarming way about him. He seemed to recognize the absurdity of our low-budget graduation — and that made us all feel good.

Plattsburgh has cleaned up its act since 1983. This year they had singers, bagpipes, and other music  — and in the press release it sounded pretty good. But just pretty good. Take my word on this: attend the May graduation, not the December one.

5 thoughts on “The Graduate

  1. But if you graduate, at any time, the alumni association will hound you for money for the rest of your life. Nosirree Bob, not fer me this graduation thing.

  2. Actually, NGD, I was the baby for seven years before he came along. Said it again and I’ll say it before: shrink would have a field day with me.

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