Friday, April 27, 2012

not a graduation, but a convocation

Very early on in the semester I found out that Georgia State was doing away with Fall commencement ceremonies in favor of one big ceremony in the spring. As someone admitted to a program that will not be complete until December of 2013, and as someone who will have waited 8 years for my college degree, this news was most unwelcome. I sure as hell was not willing to wait another six months to have my moment walking across that stage.

After pouting and complaining for a while, I found out that the College of Education would continue to hold convocation for all graduates in the semester which they complete their coursework. Since I had never attended a convocation, this news did little to make me feel better.

I felt very angry at Georgia State for making - what I perceived to be - such a rash and insensitive decision.

Fast forward to the present.... I finally saw pictures and video of the most recent fall convocation for the Georgia State College of Education. Not only was it a beautiful ceremony, but it was much smaller, much more intimate, and allowed for the event to truly reflect the specific triumphs of those graduating in the field of education. The keynote speaker, the Dean of the college, and everyone else is focused on the 30-40 new teachers receiving their certification and degrees.

Even better? I don't have to wear a cap and gown! As iconic as those articles of clothing are for graduation, I am happy to forego them in order to feel comfortable... not to mention maintaining my individuality throughout the event. It is difficult to tell one person from another when they are all wearing the same thing.

The more I think about having a convocation instead of a traditional graduation ceremony, the less angry and upset I get. I had the typical cap and gown, pomp and circumstance, boring commencement ceremony when I graduated from high school. It matched the typical high school experience that I had. I really love the idea of having a different, more personal experience when I (finally) finish college in just about 18 months. It compliments the distinctly unique experience I have had in pursuit of this degree.

By the way.... I get to apply to graduate at the end of the coming fall semester. Hold on to your hats, folks. The end is near!

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