Solemn Torture

I have been subjected to entirely too much graduation grrrrrr brrrrrr this week. None of this is from the graduates themselves; all of it is from their friends (so claimed) or family (also so claimed.) 

I have been subjected to several graduations in my life, about equally divided between being a participant and a spectator. One thing in particular is common to all of them: their conclusion was the only good part of the affair. All were painful, boring, and torturous.

I find it instructive that the only conversations I have ever had about graduations experienced were all horror stories. All were too long, void of any positive emotion, wracked with negative emotions such as pain, agony, suffering, fear, and boredom. 

To put this in context, the only graduation I HAD to attend was the one for a doctoral degree. In effect, no attendance, no degree. That university took the hooding ritual rather seriously. And treated my playing Paper-Scissors-Rock with the tail end guy from the medical school (seated next me) with humor. Hence I conclude that graduations are rather a Listerine affair for students and faculty.

The only good graduation I had was for a master’s degree. I had to relocate before the ceremony to a different graduate school and was excused. After all, a master’s degree is not very important. Cracker Jack prize, I suppose.

I have also had to attend numerous graduations of relatives. All of these were “mandatory social obligations”. Aside from the two for SCPdatter, which were partly pain avoidance, I was able to rechannel courtesy of a book. And she accused me of bringing such with me. 

Except for the one in August in an unconditioned gym where a relative suffered heat stroke. 

Over the years I have formed the hypothesis that graduations are “mother things”. The only people who seem to ever want to go to a graduation are mothers. 

This does not engender strong confidence in adulthood being accorded the child. 

I have never heard a graduation speech that was worth my time. Nor that said anything memorable. 

The good thing I can say about such I discovered this morning while perusing LifeHacker.[Link] A memorial concert – held separately and of voluntary attendance – would have been fine. I like John Williams’ music but not enough to endure any more graduation for it. So I have something to be thankful for about graduations. 

I shall also remember not to accept an honorary degree from Fair Hahvahd. Not that I have any expectation of such. 

Perhaps we can start a new ceremony? Perhaps one where we offer graduates mothers a spa visit if we can skip the ceremony? 

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