Graduation glossary

It's graduation time again.

Here's a glossary of terms you'll often hear these days:

  • commencement exercises -- always plural, the term refers to repeated futile attempts by those who finished college to begin finding jobs.
  • mortar board -- a weird hat symbolizing how much one learned in school, and judging from the size of the thing, can it be that much?.
  • tassel -- that part of the mortar board that graphically shows how school life was like... swinging!
  • academic gown -- usually unadorned and black, a symbol of mourning for cutting classes, friendships and allowances that are about to end.
  • baccalaureate service -- an occasion to display ones best designer clothes before they are covered up by the academic gown during the graduation rites.
  • diploma -- a written proof that one somehow finished some course somewhere.
  • class ring -- something that one can hock in case one doesn't find a job after graduation and badly needs money.
  • transcript of record -- the evidence of the crimes one committed in school for which one pays to get a copy.
  • clearance -- a proof that one owes the school nothing, regardless of whether one learned anything or not.
  • certificate of good moral character -- a document given by a school perceived outside as unable to produce morally upright graduates that it has to vouch for each of them.
  • alumnus/alumna -- a term that brands one forever as somebody who finished a course at a certain school which gives that school the right to continue collecting fees from him/her, e.g. alumni association fee.
  • graduate school -- a school attended by graduates who can't find jobs.
  • interview -- a procedure implemented by companies to formally inform applicants in no uncertain terms that their qualifications don't match the jobs being offered.
  • reunion -- a gathering of graduates to find out the lucky ones who finally landed jobs.
These are all stated in jest, of course.;-)

Happy graduation day!:-)


[March 15, 2006]
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