Accio Jacksons!

An 11-inch holly blog with a phoenix feather core

A more in-depth description of my graduation

by William on 2008-05-19

I realized Saturday that I am a “get it out and get out of the way” type of blogger. I think. Two pictures, five sentences and one fragment, and you have a post that anyoneʼs baby can digest. Unfortunately, I left out a few details that I would like to put back in, in the form of this blog post you are reading.

I admit there were rumors that I graduated in December (2007). In November (2007), my plan was to graduate in December, but I didnʼt do well enough in one of my classes so I had to continue school. Thank you to everyone who sent me “Congratulations Graduate!” cards five months ago. So sweet of you, and please donʼt feel like you need to print second editions. I guess I couldnʼt bring myself to announce my failure to anyone besides my wife, parents, and sundry others that pointedly asked me, “What are you going to do now that you have graduated?”

But this time it is for real!

Saturday morning at about 07:05 Rebecca dropped me off at the Erwin Center. I entered at the doors labeled “GRADUATES ENTER HERE” and started paying attention to official-looking people. You see, there was a disconcerting lack of instruction distributed before the event. I knew I needed to be wearing regalia, and I knew I needed to be at the Erwin Center between 07:00 and 07:15, but that was it. And the Erwin Center is big, so we were lucky we found the graduatesʼ entrance on our first pass.

So the first official-looking person directed me towards the registration table. I got in the line marked by an alphabetical range in which “Jackson” fell, and because I was the only person in the line, I marched up to a table and said, “Jackson, William.” I was handed a notecard with my name and major printed on it, and I was handed a medal. You may refer to the photographs accompanying an earlier post to see what the medal looked like.

I then made my way to a waiting room full of rob├Ęd graduates. I had a glass of water and read a little in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.

Meanwhile, the plan was for Rebecca to meet my parents outside so they could sit together. This is tricky, because my parents donʼt carry mobile phones. But thatʼs okay, because we agreed on specific instructions beforehand. My parents didnʼt make it to the rendezvous point by the agreed-upon time, so Rebecca went inside and tried to call me.

At this point, however, I had already met the chair of my department, J Strother Moore, who, incidentally, I had never ever met before.

Dr. Moore was wearing a kilt, because (I suspect) he received his PhD from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. Cool. Dr. Moore and I were in the middle of a friendly conversation when more official people started demonstrating what was going to happen during the convocation. Then my phone rang; it was Rebecca.

I answered, even though I probably shouldnʼt have, because I couldnʼt hear anything she was telling me. Too much commotion. I figured out (as was confirmed via text message moments later) Rebecca couldnʼt find my parents and had gone inside. I sent back a message letting her know that I would probably be very near the beginning of the ceremony, so watch out! No alphabetization here, thank you very much.

So we marched into the hall, listened to some speakers, I walked across the stage, had my photograph taken three times, sat down, and waited an hour and thirty minutes for the ceremony to end.