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Saturday, May 6, 2006

Pompous Circumstance

Even though I finished my Degree in December, my school only has one commencement ceremony per year. So, today was the day.

I don't know what the big deal is, you sit in a basketball gym that has been decked out in full drag (satin, velvet, robes, scepters, and mace) for 3 hours while they name off what seems like the population of Beijing.

Of course, after the torture of having to sit through all of the names, and then crossing the stage while my own name was called, they had to start the humiliation.

Ok, I will admit that I'm a bit of a geek when it comes to school work and decided to work my butt off to make sure I graduated high in my class, but for that, I was subjected to repeated humiliation.

After all of the degrees were awarded, they went into the Honors portion of the program. All of those in the Alpha Chi National Honor Society were wearing an extra, blue and gold tassel (along with our gold tassels) and we were made to stand. Then all of those in the Alpha Iota Mu, sporting a nifty set of blue and white cords. After that, they had the Cum Laude graduates stand and sit, then the Magna Cum Laudes followed suit, and then there was my group...

For all of the Summa Cum Laude's, they asked that we rise when called. I thought (oh great, I've got to stand up and hear my name AGAIN over the loud speakers). Then, to my horror, they started reading the name, major, and GPA. Now, unlike the the Alpha Iota Mu induction earlier in the week, I didn't have just geeks staring at me, I had a room full of annoyed students and parents staring.

To make it even more dramatic, the announcer read us out in GPA order from lowest to highest. Meanwhile, my classmates who were sitting around me were like "when are they going to call your name?" and I was turning even more red by the second.

Just a little backtracking here, sorry, because I went to back to school as an adult, I was part of a different "school" at RMU; I was in the "School of Adult and Continuing Education." We are a small, but close knit group that kind of looks out for our own. I was informed when I showed up at Commencement that they were wondering where I was at the Honors dinner, because there were only 2 of us that actually got Summa Cum Laude in our group, and they were really proud to have such a strong turnout (our group had a much higher rate of honors).

Anywho, so they got through all of the 3.95, 3.96, 3.97, and 3.98 when the announcer lady says "And now for the real heart-breakers..." as she looks visibly moved on the jumbo-trons on either side of the stage. She names off the 3.99's to oooh's and aaahh's, and then the first one.. "_____ graduated with a degree in _____ GPA 4.0." She trembles.

The crowd gasps.

Meanwhile, Rachel, sitting next me starts laughing and says "haa you geek!!"


:booming loud-speaker: "Scott Patrick Mc_____, graduates with a degree in Professional Communication and Information Systems with a FOUR POINT OH."

And then the noise really starts: My mom squeals in the audience, my classmates start "woo hoo"-ing and "GO Scottie!!!". Then my advisor yells "Hey, look at that handsome man on the screen!"

I look up and :Oh no they didn't!: There, on the two giant screens is Yours Truly, beet red, but otherwise I didn't look bad at all! I have to admit, they got me at a great angle and the lighting was fantastic. In fact, I looked pretty good!

There were only about 4 or 5 of us 4.0's in all of Beijing, so this part of the ceremony lasted only a few moments. Despite the brevity, it will be forever etched in my memory. Most of the crowd will probably only remember one of two things: 1) The governor, Ed Rendell, was our guest speaker and 2) some poor child with the last name of "Butterball" got laughed at by a crowd of thousands (We all thought it was a joke until we looked at the program). Hell, even my advisor said "I bet one of his forefathers was conceived on Thanksgiving..." Poor child, indeed!


At 5/11/2006 12:26 PM, Blogger honeykbee's whiny, bitch-ass comment is...

Why is it that the ubergeeks, the ones getting recognized and pointed out *cough* you *cough* are always the shy and self depricating ones?


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