My undergrad graduation was in the TD Garden. It was soooo cool to be on the “ice” where the Bruins would be playing a game later that night. In spite of the cool factor, I did not enjoy my undergrad graduation. I don’t even remember what happened. That’s because I spent the majority of 2.5 hours, aside from when I was actually walking to get my diploma, texting with my mom. “Stand up! We need to find you! We need a picture! Stop being whiny, just stand up and wave at us!” The Garden holds over 17 THOUSAND people. There was no way she was seeing me or I was seeing her. But I couldn’t just put my phone down and listen to my (emphasis on MY) commencement speaker, I had to fight back and forth with her for no purpose.
The infighting continued. We were supposed to meet up afterward for pictures before I went to lunch with my dad. I’d spent all week entertaining my mom who was in from out of town. I did not go to any senior week activities just so that I could be with her. Mainly so that I could have lunch with my dad without her making a stink about it. No such luck. As you can imagine, trying to meet up with a tourist in a crowd of 17,000 people proved impossible. I was screamed at over the phone and finally told, “FINE! GO HAVE FUN WITH YOUR DAD!” That’s her way of telling me to go fuck myself, in case you didn’t catch that. Needless to say I was alone in a crowd of seventeen thousand people balling my eyes out like a kid who lost their parents in a department store.
So, last year when my mom asked me about my Masters graduation, so that she could fly out for it, I told her I wasn’t going. Had she not ruined my first one, I probably wouldn’t have gone. But this was my second chance!!
Unfortunately the graduate students don’t get to go to the Garden. We graduated in the school’s old hockey arena, Matthews. And we only got two tickets. My dad and my fiancé came, after sharing a pitcher (or two?) at the college bar. That happened while I was standing. Forever.
I forgot how long it takes thousands of people to line up by college, then in alphabetical order. We were standing for over an hour.
Then there was the commencement speaker. Not only was he kind of boring, it was really hard to understand what he was saying. The old arena’s acoustics are not for the faint of hearing.
Despite being boring and long, was it worth it? Yes. I got to notice that it was boring and long. I got to appreciate it. And I got to smile when I accepted my diploma. Smile for the pictures that Northeastern will sell me for $5000 or some such.
Friday was also perfect because I went out and drank way more than I should (10ish drinks?), ate blue cheese macaroni and cheese and fried chicken, and somehow did not have a hangover! It’s a graduation miracle!