Scott Hardie | May 12, 2002
In case any of you don't know (and the odds are against that being possible), I graduated from college on Saturday morning. There was some uncertainty whether I would pass one of my classes this past semester, but I wound up with a B, so hey, party on.

My mom arrived on Friday night, late because Macomb is hard to find at night if you've never been there before. (I know!) We got some Yen-Ching and I gave her an early mother's day gift, a rose and A Thousand Country Roads by Robert James Waller. We chatted and had a good time, but it was late so not for too long.

Early Saturday morning was a brief blur. I remember not being able to zip up my robe without Kelly's help (they don't make plus sizes), and scarfing down McDonald's because there's no damn food in this house. It was also pouring rain, so I got drenched on the way into the building. I knew that Kelly and my mom would be worse off in dresses, though. Anyway, when I arrived, I suddenly had no trouble zipping up my robe, since it was soaking wet and so was I. Once properly attired, I went to the English major section and chatted with people I barely knew. One of my teachers came by and gave me the usual interrogation ("Where are you going?" "What do you want to do for a living?"); I figured I couldn't get out of college without hearing it once last time.

We lined up by major, alphabetically. In the front of the gym were Biology, Chemistry, English, etc., then the back row had the later letters such as Sociology. In other words, two rows of majors, with many lines of students per major in each row. The problem is, when they led us into the main part of the gym for the actual ceremony, they took each line at a time, both front and back row. So it was Biology, something from N, Chemistry, something from P, English, something from R, etc. And English was so large that it had two lines, so we were cut in half by some other department. This wouldn't have been a big deal except that Kelly and my mom were listening for the English department, and I wasn't in the first line from it but the later second line. Whatever.

Seating was cramped, but comfortable compared to what the audience got, wooden bleachers. The distinguished alumni speaker was the CEO of Home Depot, and he gave a good speech. It was also the longtime university president's final year, and instead of giving a reverent speech in recognition of that, he gave a silly and casual one, which was refreshing. Then it took about an hour as each student was named, walked across the platform, got their diploma cover, and sat down again. Almost two thirds of the students got WOOOOOO!s as they went across, which got really old after a while. Kelly and my mom clapped for me, but they were on the far other side of the gym so I didn't hear anything. When Jeff Dutcher went across, they pronounced his name "Doo-cher."

Then came the long, slow process of getting the hell out of there. I'd considered leaving right after I got my diploma cover, but I wanted to wait for my mom and Kelly, who it turned out left right then anyway and sat for an hour at home waiting for me. But I'm glad I stayed till the end, which is when we all stood up, the president declared us all graduates, we turned our tassels, and the audience gave a long, loud ovation.

Home, photo-taking (they'll be online in a week or two), China Buffet for lunch because every place else was packed, a game of Scrabble with my mom, a trip to "Spider-Man" because nothing else was playing, dinner at Vitale's with that waiter who looks just like Tobey Maguire, then another game of Scrabble with my mom and Kelly, and the day was over.

Jackie Mason | May 13, 2002
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Scott Hardie | May 13, 2002
Thanks Jackie! No, there was no tossing of hats. I wouldn't have tossed mine if there was; I did at high school and came home with one that didn't fit.

Scott Hardie | May 13, 2002
Oops, I forgot to mention above that my mom got me/us Disney World tickets as a graduation gift. Very cool.

Lori Lancaster | May 13, 2002
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K. R. | May 13, 2002
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Scott Hardie | May 14, 2002
Thanks Lori and Dan! :-)

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