After five years of grueling work, endless binge drinking, and long hours interning, my brother has graduated from a certain prestigious Midwestern engineering school. Equipped with a secure job and an apartment back east, there was only one thing left to do: sit through a four-hour ceremony of pure, uninterrupted boredom to receive a piece of paper that declares, "Congratulations, you might be of use to the human race, or maybe just to a company's mail room."
I arrived at the ceremony ten minutes before the doors even opened because my parents thought it was necessary to get a good seat. I mean I totally understood, because who doesn't want to sit in an auditorium for an hour before everything starts just to be close enough to take pictures, even though I have this new thing called zoom on my camera. Anyway, the first family that sat beside us was a six member Indian family with seemingly the cutest toddler ever. Except for the high-pitched screaming and total lack of concern from the parents. The mom was too busy filming everything with her camera. And when I mean everything, I mean she stood up to film the audience behind her. No, I'm not kidding.
You'd think a college graduation would be the day you would bring out the babysitter. So, the commencement starts and everything was going fine until, for lack of a better name, Mao Zedong got confused and led his portion of students to the wrong side of the damn auditorium. Add another fifteen minutes to the clock for the fuck-up. Moving on though, the president made a useless speech. I mean, she's white so of course it's boring. White people haven't been cool since like, JFK. She commented on how amazing our generation was because of the Internet and our immense sharing power. If she meant the billions of songs stolen, the excess of porn downloaded, or the mass e-mails advertising two girls, one cup, than yes, we are an amazing generation.
They first announced the doctorate students. Now, when a student earns a doctorate they're given a "hood," which is a sash given to them by one of their professors. The speaker usually announces their name and what subject they studied. They hooded about one hundred doctorate students. There is nothing funny about that. I had to sit through it. Feel bad for me. Very, very bad.
Next come the graduate students. God bless the man that announced these names because I don't think Americans actually earn graduate degrees anymore. They're all Asian. No wonder those guys are kicking our asses. I counted a first name on the big screen with thirteen characters. Try teaching that to a kid in kindergarten. I literally think the Chinese just sit around and figure out how many consonants they can put next to each other and still have a sound come out of their mouth. Either way, Gandhi and Kim Jong Il walked across the stage proudly.
The best part by far was every time a black student got their diploma, the prestigious ceremony was interrupted by screams of "Yeah boooiii," "WOOOOO," and "Holla!" Attention: this is not a joke. This really happened. I just want to know why they thought it was perfectly acceptable to act like douchebags.
Back to our lovely Indian family though. Their seemingly cute baby turned out to be an asshole. I have never wanted to hit someone so badly in my life. You'd think a college graduation would be the day you would bring out the babysitter. Did they really think a toddler would sit through a four-hour ceremony and watch intently? And of course when he starts his epic tantrum, don't feel the need to remove him from the auditorium. No, let him annoy me until I whip my high heel right at his eye. Then he can throw a tantrum. I know it's hard to tell, but I kind of despise children.
So, if you love people watching, mocking, and racial profiling: attend a college graduation. You'll get a day full of laughs and, more importantly, a lifetime of punchlines.