Convocation, Relegation, In You are GO!

24 Aug

I’ve had a bit of a hankering for Serj Tankain for whatever reason. Great singer. His lyrics are weird as hell, but he makes them sound hypnotic. You know what I mean? Like, I would download the goddamn mewomix jingle if he sang it. I could only imagine it.

So as the title would suggest, I have been officially relegated to freshman status here at the University of Tampa! I know, very exciting. See, I would’ve considered myself a freshman after I paid this semester’s share of the bloody 35,000 dollars it takes to pay for two semesters of this school. On the other hand, if I’m paying more than a teacher makes in a year to come get a higher education, their had better be some damn pomp and circumstance.

And that’s exactly what awaited me today. apparently here at UT, they consider two ceremonies to be of the utmost importance. There’s, of course, commencement (commonly known as “graduation”) and then there’s something that I swear they made up on the spot called “convocation.” It turns out that a convocation means a gathering in latin, so it’s only sort of made up. No more so than supercalafragilisticespealladocious or however the fuck you spell that linguistic monstrosity.

So today, the entire freshman class was forced into the gym into such tight spaces sardines would start whining. We sat there for a few minutes with very few sources of entertainment except to stare out into space with the dazed look so commonly attributed to bored undergraduates. You should know me by now. I decided to expand my horizons.

“Ok,” I said to Emily, “He’s gay.”

Another kid next to me- who I really should learn your name, dude, you really are awesome! I just don’t remember names. I remember, however, it sounded Italian. So for this story, I shall dub thee Gepetto.

Anyways, Gepetto looked at us. “Seriously? Him? No I don’t think so.”

“Nope” Emily said offhandedly. “Not gay. See him over there. He is.”

“How can you tell?” I remarked.

“It’s the way he walks” she said. “We know how to pick each other out.”

“Ok. Her.”

“Oooh she’s cute.” Emily grinned. “So’s he.” She points to another guy towards the back of the incoming crowd. “But nope. Both straight.”

It was at this point, I think, Gepetto and I quit the game. We were clearly no match for Emily’s advantage.

But we still resisted the urge to just stare absent-mindedly into space. Instead, we stared absent-mindedly at my phone as I started up temple run. I got through maybe 2,500 meters when the band began to play and we were all told to rise.

The actual ceremony was really quite nice. We had a few speeches, none of which exceeded five minutes. There was only one that I could both admire and despise. One of the professors decided to make a speech parlaying weird and offsetting Harry Potter jokes. That part made me despise it. However, even when kids were awkwardly shifting in their seat and trying to pretend like they weren’t there, she kept on trucking, her gas tank clearly filled and her give-a-fuck o meter at empty. She even threw out a few funny zingers. In the end, much respect to her.

At the end we all signed our names into the ceremonial matricula for school enrollment. We were now part of a 81 year tradition. I guess it’s cool to be a part of a tradition that extensive, but what was really awesome was the new beginning. Starting with what was a pretty ballsy move by Emily and I.

We were dismissed and had free rein in the auditorium. We gave each other a knowing look and approached the exit. Standing there at the end of the hall was an older gentleman, with a distinguished stance that oozed confidence and academia. We both reached out our hands and shook his.

“Thank you, sir” I said, “for the address and the welcome.”

“It’s a pleasure to meet you” Emily continued, “President Vaughn.”

That’s right. We shook the President of the university’s hand. Look me in the eye (or at least at the LED screen) and tell me that isn’t an awesome experience!

It makes me want to shimmy shimmy shimmy trrrthebreak of dawn, yeah.

How about you guys? Was your entry to college as bad ass? Leave a comment and tell your story!

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