Commencement ’10

Every year at this time I read posts like Anastasia’s, on the topic of profs who show up and profs who don’t.

Maybe there will come a time when I don’t get excited about commencement. After all, though this must be at least my sixth or seventh commencement here or there as faculty, I am early enough in my career still to be gratified by those elements of commencement that are “all about me”: my own hard-earned regalia, horsing around with other faculty, basking with admins in a general glow of checking off another reasonably successful year. There will likely come a rainy May day when these goods fail to pay off for me, and I find nothing in it for me that year.

And that will be about right.

Because, as you are already saying to yourself as you suffer through the just-allowably sophomoric, self-indulgent sentiments of my second ’graph, commencement day won’t be about me anyway, and never was, except insofar as I am or am not present to support what’s really going on there. Which is, you know, recognizing students for having done all that stuff that we believe it was so important that they do.

If I’m “over” what’s really going on there, then I’m “over” my vocation. But at least from here, that’s comfortably hard to imagine: once again, commencement was fun, and was most fun after the pre-curtain backstage fashion show and attention had turned where it belonged.

(Probably to be continued in some form.)

[Commencement ’10 was written by G. Brooke Lester for Anumma.com and was originally posted on 2010/MONTH/DATE. Except as noted, it is © 2010 G. Brooke Lester and licensed for re-use only under CC BY-NC-ND 3.0.]

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