cinema_babe: (Rutgers 2013)
[personal profile] cinema_babe
It was the happiest of days,
It was the wettest of days
It was a day to celebrate
It was a day to stand in line for 45 minutes waiting for a shuttle bus.

2 commencement ceremonies, the first in rain (not drizzle, *rain*) and 60 degree temps make for one achy, exhausted Patti.

The first ceremony was for the whole university, Newark, New Brunswick, and Camden campuses. All of the schools and colleges, all 14,000+ graduates are invited and it's so big the football stadium is the only place large enough to hold it. I could have skipped it but I figured (a) it was my last time and (b)my last graduation was the last one before they had this massive one so I thought it's be nice to to do it.

Yikes. First let's get the ookey out of the way. The logistics were not well handled, until I got into the stadium no one could tell me what door to go in or if I was even in the right place. One of the bus drivers tried to put me off the bus as the wrong location (??!!) because I said I was a graduate student and he saw a sign that said graduate students. Of course it also said "School of Engineering" but that was immaterial to him.

It might have been because his grasp of English seemed rather poor. Normally this is a non issue to me as long as someone can do their job. If you drive a bus and people unfamiliar with the area are asking you if they are on the right bus and you indicate that you don't understand them by saying, "sorry, no comprendo" *and* all of your bus stop announcements are made in Spanglish.....

That's a problem for me. A big fucking problem. It was also a problem for a lot of the parents and other assorted loved ones who were even more confused about where to go. He almost let people get off at the wrong place in the rain (while they were all dressed up in their good clothes). FFS, Rutgers. I'm sure he's a nice man but this was a very bad move.

Anyway, I got there, got to the area where we all lined up and we began marching into the stadium. Yes, it was raining and none of the seats were covered so most of us lost our programs because we sat on them to keep our bums dry. Yes this is pretty funny to me today.

One of the best moments for me is when I, by sheer dint of happenstance, ended up being the last student to march in.

The School of Communication came in last and we march in based seniority; undergrads first and then grad students. None of the New Brunswick PhDs come because they are at a different ceremony getting their academic hoods, so the most senior group for our school are the Masters students. (Do you see what's happening here?) I stopped for a moment to turn around for one more look and ended up at the back of the line. As I came out into the seating area I looked behind me again and I see one of the volunteers who said to me, "looks like you're it, Missy". Damned if he wasn't right. Now that was funny.

No one was paying any attention to me at that point so I just waved my arms in the air like I just didn't care and kept waving my arms until I got to my seat. And then I sat in the increasingly chilly, wet weather.

After it was over, I had to catch the shuttle bus back to the Rutgers Athletic Center (where they play basketball) for my second ceremony. And it was still raining. And the line was long, very long. And then a bunch of people formed a second line and tried to jump onto busses from the rear door. Sheriff's deputies were called to oversee the bus boarding; good times everybody, good times. After about 45 minutes, two short busses pulled up to take anyone in a cap and gown to the athletic center for the other ceremonies, (ours and the Business School's).

Continued in Part II

March 2017

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