Graduation is a ceremony in which students receive a blank, rolled-up sheet of paper about the center of which is tied a cheap, narrow ribbon. The paper is said to be a diploma, despite the fact that it bears no text or images and is as worthless as the education that the students have allegedly received and to which the paper supposedly attests. The diploma demonstrates, for all the world (except the students themselves) to see, how stupid the students actually are, since they (or, more often, their parents) have paid thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of dollars for the paper that the students think will help them to get a decent job, to think, and to understand the world around them. For about five cents, the students or their parents could have made the same diploma for which they've paid thousands of dollars. Duh.
To make the event sound more impressive than it could ever be, universities and colleges (and, nowadays, even high schools, grade schools, and kindergartens) refer to it as "convocation," "invocation," or "vacation." Never is the word "vocation" employed, however, although "avocation" is reportedly becoming a popular synonym for graduation as well.
To further create the appearance that something worthwhile and important is happening, schools make students march onto a stage, to the jarring tune of "Pomp and Circumstance," to receive their rolled-up papers and a "keynote speaker" bores the audience with a diatribe about the duty and drudgery that awaits them in the workplace for the next twenty to forty years. When no one else can be found to address the audience, sometimes President George Bush, Senator Hillary Clinton, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, or another politcian can be persuaded to try to speak. These speakers is often an excuse for faculty members and students to protest the speaker's presence and to demonstrate against his or her position or values, thereby bonding for a final time and showing the value of education.
In addition to the keynote speaker, the graduating class' nerdiest girl or geekiest boy is usually appointed to speak to his or her peers as the class
vegetarian valedictorian. This honored individual usually talks about how much fun the students had engaging in sex, drinking beer, and skipping school to have sex and drink beer.
To stretch out the ceremony as long as possible, the schools call each student by name, making him or her climb the steps onto the stage and shake hands with strangers, such as the university's president or the college's dean, while being applauded by his or her loving parents. When the rolled-paper recipient is a hot chick, whistles and catcalls usually accompany the applause. However, it is considered bad form for the student to bow, curtsey, or otherwise thank the audience for its adulations.
The person who confers (gives) the degree (rolled-up paper) to the graduate (sucker), usually the school's president or academic dean (con artist), prefaces the act with a short speech, such as the following:
- On behalf of the faculty of the Letters and Sciences, whatever they may be, I hereby declare that these candidates have been bilked of as much money as possible in the time allotted to the university [or college] for this purpose and, as a result, must be discharged so as to make room for newly recruited suckers, so, by the powers invested in me by the stupidity of the so-called students and their parents, the complicity of my esteemed colleagues, and the indifference of the United States federal government, which issues the grants and student loans that make this confidence game possible, at taxpayers' expense, I hereby confer upon these candidates the blank, rolled-up, and beribboned paper that represents the true worth and value of their "education."
Sex and drinking at private parties on and off campus often follow the boring official activities.
Most students never thought they'd graduate, because many are unable to think critically or otherwise and have difficulty reading, writing, adding, subtracting, multiplying, dividing, or distinguishing their heads from Uranus. Consequently, when the Magic Moment arrives, they want the universe to attend the Great Day and see that they really are not as stupid as they have seemed for over two decades or longer. To control the crowds, schools allot so many tickets per student. This practice has led to attempts to scalp tickets. Family members and supposed friends gather at auditorium doors or stadium gates to sell their tickets to the highest bidders. Students also hoard tickets to sell on [www.graduationtickets.com] or through their schools' web pages, message boards, and other avenues. Some even advertise them on billboards.
To generate interest among potential buyers in purchasing the tickets at exorbitant rates, scalpers pay coed students to “flash” the public. After receiving their rolled-up papers, one or more beautiful, buxom female students will open the front of her gown to show that she has nothing on beneath it. In response, the other students toss their caps, called mortarboards, into the air. In addition, one or more “streakers” (nude runners) might be hired to dash along the auditorium’s center aisle or onto the stage or across the athletic field, if the ceremony is conducted there instead of indoors.