44. Graduation Ceremonies

Six months have gone by without an entry. Apologies all around, kids. I’ve been busy these last few months adjusting to life as a post-undergrad-graduate. I would have written entries about these experiences but they will all be available in my new book that I’ve been writing all year entitled Everybody Lied And The World Is Out To Get You: The Corbin Albaugh Guide to Adulthood.

DISCLAIMER TO THE GULLIBLE: This is not a real thing. Yet.

There are a lot of great things about graduating college. Relatives send you shitloads of cash, you’re basically treated like royalty your final week on campus, and once your actual studies have finished you can get away with nearly two weeks of continuous binge drinking before anyone is legally allowed to worry about you having any substance abuse problems again. Having technically graduated from Santa Fe University of Arts and Crafts in December, I had to wait about five months to reap those benefits but believe me when I say they almost made the Andy-Dufrense-Crawling-Through-A-Pipe-Of-Shit-Semester that I had worth it. Almost.

Unfortunately, every rainbow has a farting leprechaun at the end of it and this farting leprechaun in particular was the graduation ceremony. Unfortunately I still exist at a time in human history in which ceremonies still exist in which we put on funny hats and have elaborate rituals and so this is the price I (and others like me) must pay. In addition to the crippling student debt, of course.

Also fans of hats and rituals.

It’s not that I think graduation ceremonies need to be abolished. I just think certain aspects of the ceremony should be abolished. In no particular order:

1. Cords and All That Other Bullshit: We’ve all made it to the very end, guys. We’ve weeded out all the major slackers, fuckups, and criminal elements in our class and we can say with at least some honesty by the ceremony that we all equally deserve to graduate. So why the fuck do we gotta keep making sure that we have to keep calling attention to the super successful students? They already get the pleasure of hearing “Cum” when they receive their diploma, why do we have to deck them out in more ribbons, necklaces, and beads than a fucking African shaman? Excessive. Not necessary. Let’s move on. And on that note:

2. Stupid Hat. Stupid Robes: I haven’t had to wear a robe during a ceremony since my Christian confirmation when I was twelve. Robes should only be worn if you are a wizard or an equivalent fictional being. And motorboards are the most unflattering hats since the invention of the fez. The only purpose that they could almost serve as a drink coaster in a pinch.

3. IN THE MORNING?!: It should be common sense to anyone that the single worst time to schedule anything for a twentysomething is the morning. The morning is defined as “Anytime Before Noon In Which A Hangover Is Not Just Possible, But A Given.” Especially right at the end of the week-long Bacchanalia that is Graduation Week. I for one find it a miracle that no viral video has emerged yet of a poor hungover graduate ralphing all over his master of ceremonies while taking his diploma. Give it a couple more years.

4. Speakers. All of ’em.: Nothing can make something boring into something awful like a shitty speech. Except for the Cha Cha Slide. We’ve all seen enough movies (or at least Braveheart) to know the power of a good speech. Unfortunately, our world is filled with a large amount of uncharismatic motherfuckers. For every Kurt Vonnegut “Wear Sunscreen” speech there are five dozen awkward commencement speeches being given by barely qualified people/self help charlatans that are filled with about the same amount of wisdom you could find in your average fortune cookie. And god forbid the poor out of touch President decide to say a few words. The only highlight of my ceremony was watching our current president awkwardly make military metaphors to a bunch of art students in one of the most poorly-thought-out addresses since George Bush gave his “Mission Accomplished” speech on top of an aircraft carrier.  And sorry student speakers, but nobody wants to hear you talk. OK, I lied. Your close friends and your family definitely want to hear you talk. Unfortunately this is where I have to bring in my good friend, Mr. Statistical Logic.

“Well, Corbin, although the close friends and family do sincerely care about the speech, it’s worth noting that they only take up about 1-3% of the audience population.”

Oh, really, Mr. Statistical Logic? Only that many?

“I’m afraid so, Corbin.”

So what does that mean about the other 97-99%, Mr. Statistical Logic?

“Honestly, they probably couldn’t give any less of a fuck, Corbin.”

Can’t say I’m surprised, Mr. Statistical Logic.

Me either, really.”


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