Not the year, the number of students who signed up to walk. I’m not sure what the final count was but there were A LOT of students at last night’s graduation. First off, nothing and I mean NOTHING will ever be as good as our individual ceremony held at the Symphony Center or the Chicago Theater. And I don’t remember being told it was mandatory to attend, we just did.
But, this is a dead horse. The administration we have is never going to let us have our individual ceremony so I’ll move into the present and say…..I enjoyed last night’s graduation! I even LOVED parts of it.
What did I love?
- The HWC Jazz Ensemble playing the prelude! Nice job! I couldn’t see you because of where I was standing but I heard you. You Rock (or Jazz?). I’m assuming it was Shevitz and Flores and company but like I said, couldn’t really see.
- The National Anthem sung by the CCC Commencement Chorus- awesome! The drum line presenting the college colors (still hate the color changes but once again…dead horse). Nothing gets a crowd going like a drum band.
- The Lieutenant Governor, Sheila Simon, gave a great speech. The best part was when she introduced a visually challenged student and told his story. It was so inspirational that the crowd gave him a standing ovation. Love hearing about our students, they inspire me every day.
- Cheryl also gave a good speech. She inspires students with her story.
- Asking the Service/military graduates to stand and thanking them for their service.
- Don doing double duty handing out diplomas for Wright and for HWC. He’s the hardest working man at City Colleges.
- The people reading the names of the graduates. They were amazing handling that kind of volume and that variety of names.
- Our students graduating
There were some differences from the last two years which helped the process.
- HWC was not seated in the back, we were in the front and Malcolm X was seated in the front on the other side of the aisle. So, when the other schools got called and some students left, it didn’t seem so obvious.
- At the beginning the students were asked to stay for the whole event and to “respect this most solemn tradition of academia.” It seems to have worked; fewer students did appear to leave. A lot still did leave but it wasn’t the mass exodus of last year.
- There was an electronic reader which scanned the students’ names and put them on the big screen with a shot of the student. Sometimes it got out of sync, but would eventually get back on track. Loved that the students figured it out and started mugging for the camera when they got their diploma cover.
Still could be improved.
- 11am? Really? I was there! There was about 30 minutes of instruction which may have been useful, than a bagged lunch, than sitting around for hours in a tent! WASTE OF TIME! Those volunteering should have just come at 1:30, gotten briefed and prepared for the students arriving at 2:30. And the bags of lunch, not good. Many volunteers actually had to stay the ENTIRE ceremony. So, getting there at 11am, given a sad lunch and not getting out until almost 7:30 was a hungry and long day. I never saw the “snacks” we were supposed to be given, but heard they were out.
- I suspect that more people will walk next year so they can cut their time in half. For those walking, not necessary to get there at 2:30. Honestly, people walked in at 3:45 and it was perfectly fine. We didn’t walk in like last year. We did not have to gather in the parking garage. We just hung out at the top of the aisle we would be sitting in and walked down the stairs at the appropriate time. It was warm and there were no logistical problems.
- It would have been nice to have some walking music. I get not having “pomp and circumstance” for our entrance but it was a shame not to have some music. Half the faculty were in before some music started playing and I couldn’t identify the music.
- Of course, because we didn’t line up in the parking garage, we didn’t get an opportunity to see our students until the very end. It would be nice if there were designated areas for each college before and after the ceremony so faculty and students could be assured a chance to interact with each other. One of my colleagues really wanted to see one of her students but couldn’t get to her in the crowd and then the student disappeared. We both got had an opportunity to have pictures taken with some students but there were so many more who were missed.
I’ve become as long-winded as Dave! Sorry for the long description, I’m procrastinating from grading:) Kamran had a great comment on the last post, I just couldn’t figure out how to include pics in a comment! Please feel free to share your comments!