Graduation or commencement marks the completion of one level and moving on to the next level. It is a ceremony of conferring degrees or diplomas in schools or colleges. Usually, there is graduation from kindergarten to elementary, from elementary to middle school, from middle to high school and from high school to college. Then there are specialized graduations from medical school, engineering and other professional schools. Graduation process starts almost the beginning of the semester, by auditing their classes and gets approved to graduate. Ready-to-graduate students start ordering their school-approved, color-identified gowns and caps with tassel. Parents, grandparents, family and friends are invited to be part of the celebration. Colleges conduct a series of activities during the commencement week. On the day of the graduation, valedictorian addresses the fellow graduates reminding the day they entered the institution and running down the memory lane of college life. The essential part of the ceremony is to invite a celebrity to deliver a commencement speech, based on what the graduates will be up to face the “real world”, at the same time encouraging them on their endeavors. The important activity of the commencement exercises is recognizing their accomplishments and hard work of the graduates by presenting a degree and a token of memorabilia. Once the degrees are presented the tassel is moved from right part of the hat to the left side of the hat. I am not aware why it is moved to left side after the graduation; my guess is that it could be because the higher education is basically designed for left-brain processing. The graduation ceremony concludes with tossing off their hats up in the air. As you can expect close friends take pictures together with families, friends and professors. Once they are disbursed from the assembly, all the graduates say goodbye to their friends with a heavy heart and move on to their next journey.
I am proud to be in the midst of the celebration of my son’s graduation from a prestigious institution. It was difficult to leave behind all his friends who have chosen their path of journey; he came home with all the memories of the past four years. Graduation in not the end of the journey, in a way, it is a beginning to move on to another phase of life. For some it could be higher education, professional studies and for some it could be a job in the real world earning money. Whatever they choose, graduates gather with friends and family to celebrate the graduation which is a big milestone in their life. Hats off to all the 2011 graduates!
“A milestone passed, new things begun, dreams as shining as the sun, a goal achieved, a victory won! That's Graduation!”