Robert (gurdonark) wrote,

graduation day

Thursday my nephew Andrew graduated from both high school and community college. He attended a program that combined the two degrees. We drove to the Garland Special Events Center, not far from my work. This center is huge--like a combination of a gymnasium and a concert venue. The attendance for the graduation event was in the thousands--at least 1200 folks were there to get a variety of degrees, certificates and diplomas.

The ceremony was really cool. The faculty came in first, in great regalia, and took chairs at the back of the cavernous floor section. A community college of some size has tons of faculty, and they were quite an impressive group. The graduates then trooped in, with rather well-thought-out mass choreography.

I was struck by these things during the graduation:

most of all, how incredibly important this community college graduation was to virtually every graduate and family member in attendance, and also:

--the sheer adulation and joy of the families in attendance
--the rich diversity of the graduates, who were comprised of immigrants from nearly every land imaginable, from every age bracket, from every ethnic group, across a wide array of demographics
--the keynote address by an English professor who kept his remarks free of fluff and a bit poignant
--the flood of people exiting amid tables of thin slices of graduation cake
--the seamlessness of it all
--what an interminable length of time it takes to give 1200 graduates their diplomas
--what careful attention the faculty gave to ensure they got the names pronounced correctly

It was grand to see my nephew, now 18, complete his graduation! I took this very flawed video of the moment itself with my cell phone video camera, which I will post here for memory's sake:

My wife and I were thrilled that we got to share in the fun.

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