Sunday, May 28, 2006


You know you are graduating from UMass Amherst when:

1) No preparation whatsoever is required- you may get your cap and gown on your way into graduation (in case you have been drunk for the last two weeks and forgot to get them.)

2) When the marshalls say "lines of three" you all walk into the processional in a giant mob.

3) The processional takes so long to get all 4,000 graduates into their seats that we all begin sitting down half-way through.

4) Graduates then proceed to stand on their chairs to look for people, talk to their relatives on their cell phones, take their gowns off because it is extremely hot, and leave their seats to go talk to people on the sidelines.

5) When the speaking finally commences, we then break out the beachballs that have been stashed under gowns, inflate them, and toss them around for fun- this continues throughout the entire two-hour ceremony- probably 2 or 3 dozen beachballs total.

6) Whenever a "marshall" manages to snatch one of the beachballs away (their primary job), the grads boo the marshall loud enough to drown out the speaker on stage.

7) Your particular section at one point sets off one beachball, then two (a typical number seen in all the sections), then three (at which point people begin to cheer), then four (and things start to get rowdy), and on until you've got 6 beachballs all going at once among the same small group, to the loud pleasure of the rest.

8) When the beachballs run out towards the end, the programs are sacrificed to mutitudes of paper airplanes.

9) The girl behind you continually screams like a rabid sports fan at inappropriate moments- for example, "Yeah- go trustees!" and "Sing it, UMass!"

10) When the Chancellor asks all alumni present to now stand, the graduates collectively fail to realize that they are now alumni for several seconds, then realize this collectively, and jump up screaming all at once. Don't ask how we got into college in the first place.

11) And last, but not least, the crowning moment that truly lets you know that you are graduating from the best university on the planet... somebody has snuck in, inflated, and begun to toss overhead- not just a beachball- but an inflatable naked lady.

I love UMass.

1 comment:

derangels said...

yup, i was there. that about sums it up!

second only to when the faculty speaker at WSC graduation got booed for daring to mention that the faculty STILL didn't have a contract after several years of begging and fighting the state...

"There's a time and a place for everything, and it's called COLLEGE."