Monday, 12 April 2010

"Prepare to be bored but proud again"

is what we told my father. He is being whisked off to see his youngest grandson get the first of his degrees today. (This one is Economics. He has two years of Law to go.) Last year saw the other grandson here get the first of his degrees.
Of course my father has been through this before. We have a picture of him in cap and gown getting his degree. His parents are by his side and their pride is obvious.
I think there might be pictures of my brother and the older of my two sisters getting their degrees but I have no idea where they are.
There are no pictures of me getting any of my degrees. I went to my first graduation ceremony only because I was required to do so in order to get the qualification. There was a row going on in the institution at the time because not all members of staff had degrees and those who did not were not permitted to be part of the proceedings. When the students said they would not attend the ceremony they were ordered to do so or not receive their diplomas. As the vast majority of them were 'bonded' teacher training students who could not teach without their diplomas and still had to pay back their 'loans' they had little choice. In the end the staff stayed away and left the whole affair to the college principal and a couple of cronies. The whole affair was very uncomfortable.
I never went to another graduation ceremony. There was no point. No member of my family would have been present. I saw no reason to travel thousands of miles to get a piece of paper.
My nephews share my views but, being local students, they do it for their parents and their grandparents. Their father's parents had almost no schooling. Despite that their own sons have degrees. They are proud of them although they do not understand what they do at all - one is a forensic chemist and the other a computer engineer (the big stuff). Their grandchildren are doing things like law, medicine, accountancy and nanotechnology. My father has more idea but says that it is 'beyond (him) these days'.
Degree granting ceremonies bore him as much as they bore my nephews but he will still be proud as he goes off today. Thankfully there is limited seating. I am not included in the invitation. My nephew knows that I am proud of him. It would not matter if he was the guy who drives the rubbish truck because he is a decent, honest, polite, funny and hardworking person who cares about other people.
Anyway, they call the rubbish collectors "sanitary engineers" these days.


Holly said...

Ah, yes - the "ceremony"

I have been to three in my life - high school (because I did not know any better) and one university degree because certain family members really wanted it (shall we note that they did not show up?) for me and the Eldest finishing high school.

Not bothered since. Will not bother again.

It might do something for someone, but I try to avoid those places where knitting is frowned upon.

Old Kitty said...


At least your graduation ceremony was memorable for all the wrong reasons! Oh dear!

Oh I detested my graduation ceremony - but did it for my mum and made the effort because she wanted the pic - that to this day I cringe whenever I see it hanging on my mum's wall - my hat thing is falling of my head, my glasses are down to my nose, and I was given robes ten times my size so I looked like a balloon!

Congratulations to your nephew! It's a proud, proud achievement for you and your family.

take care

catdownunder said...

There were no graduation ceremonies from high school - thank goodness.
Nice of your family members Holly - at least my mother was honest enough to say that she had "no intention of encouraging me by attending anything like that"!