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Sunday, October 17, 2021

Column: Peace out, trouts

Seeing as this is my last column ever, I wanted to write something life-changing that would alter your state of mind FOREVER. Then I remembered I don’t really have anything that profound to say that isn’t stolen from some movie or Hallmark card. This is probably why I stick to more important topics like Booty Pops, cockroaches and things to do butt-naked.

Anyway, graduation is rapidly approaching and I’m not even sure what’s going on. I thought graduating was supposed to be the easy part of all this. You finish your classes, wear an awkward robe and walk across a stage so someone can hand you a fake diploma. This is because the real one won’t show up for like three months. Meanwhile, your family and friends cheer for you, blow air horns and piss off everyone in close proximity.

To me surprise (that was supposed to say “my,” but I don’t want to make the effort to going back and delete it. Instead, I will just sound Irish and write two unnecessary explanatory sentences in parentheses.), there’s a bunch of lame preparation that goes into the graduating process. So for all of you that still have that to look forward to in the future, listen up.

First, there’s the matter of filing for graduation. You get a form, write down all the classes you took for your major and minor and run all over campus to get it signed by different people. This is so they can verify that you actually did all the things you claim you did. It’s kind of like a scavenger hunt, but not fun and that fake diploma I mentioned is the prize.

Then there are the graduation announcements to look forward to. These are those little cards you’re supposed to send out to people that say your name, major and degree. Some even conveniently come with thank you notes and return address labels for the money you’re assuming people will send you.

Personally, this concept makes me uncomfortable. This is because their sole purpose is to 1) brag about yourself or 2) discretely hit people up for some congratulatory cash.

At first I refused to order them. I have about three extended family members total, and they’re too old to even pick up their mail let alone lick an envelope. I wasn’t about to hit them up for money that could pay for their large-print Reader’s Digest magazines or something.

Unfortunately, my parents are making me do it, so now I just feel like a big hypocrite. At least they aren’t making me take graduation pictures. I find those uncomfortable, too.

I say this because you dress up in a cap and gown to take them, but everyone knows that you weren’t actually graduating when you did it. You just took the time to make it look like you were, and you probably wore sweatpants under that robe.

The combination of the grad announcement/money request and fake graduation photo is just doubly awkward. You’re basically saying, “Please send me money, and accept this cheesy picture of me as a consolation prize.” I guess it’s safe to assume I won’t be receiving any grad announcements now.

Lastly, there is the matter of deciding how you want your name called at graduation. No, I don’t mean the actual way they say your name – although it would be pretty cool if I could get them to announce mine in Pig Latin or something. What I mean is you have to specify what name you want to be called. You can have your first and last name, or you can add your middle name, too, and etc.

I still shudder to think of my high school graduation when the principal called out “Amanda Gay Hardwick” and the crowd fell silent. I’m pretty sure they thought he screwed up and felt bad cheering.

I briefly considered nixing the middle name, but I worried the lack of syllable would throw off the rhythm of the entire ceremony. I don’t want that kind of responsibility. Plus, it’s my mom’s name, so I’d basically be an ungrateful jerk if I didn’t represent it. Oh well.

Anyway, despite the general tone of this column, I’m actually looking forward to graduating and what the future has in store. It’s a weird feeling to know I might not ever use a blue book again, get my bike seat stolen or have to write a paper at 3 a.m. – and by weird, I mean AWESOME.

On a final note, I want to say a quick thank you to editor-in-chief Adam Loberstein, those of you that e-mailed in and the friends and family I poked fun at this year. I’m proud to say I scraped through without hate mail or threats to my life. I had a great time doing this, and hope you enjoyed some of it, too. Good luck with finals and the job hunt for those big kid graduates. Let’s see how far our faux diplomas will get us.

AMANDA HARDWICK wrote this column while eating a bag of chocolate chips and listening to the banjo theme from Deliverance. She’ll miss nights like this. Send her an e-mail at aghardwick@ucdavis.edu just for the hell of it!

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