My Funny Graduation

My Funny Graduation 
By Walter Ang
March 2000
Philippine Star

For a multitude of students, March signals the end of several years' worth of anguish and suffering. At last, they can step forward and leave behind them forever the horrors of academic life. For in this month of months, graduation is finally at hand.

Proud parents and friends beam with pride as they show off wallet sized photos of their graduates. They throw parties and dinner celebrations to mark the special occasion. With this much people bursting with exhilaration, it would be such a waste to have them sit still for hours on end at the graduation ceremonies. To ask the graduates and their loved ones to contain their joy by sitting down and clamming up would be a disservice to their sensibilities.

Year in, year out, the same old rites never change. It goes on and on in a less than exciting pace. The youth of today deserve a little update in the ceremonies. Young people are born of the MTV generation. They like to drive fast and eat street food. They relish a little newness, little alteration.

With this in mind, perhaps organizers of the graduation events should consider injecting a little more life and enthusiasm to the program sequence of most rites. If MTV has a different concept for each of its awards shows, then wouldn't it be great to use the same idea for graduation rites as well? Here are some themes we could utilize:

1. Circus Theme. 
The circus is a childhood icon filled with happy memories. To reinforce the joy of graduating, we could couple the two and double our fun with a circus themed graduation rite. Why endure insipid speeches when the speaker can deliver it with a loud booming voice a la ringmaster style? Perhaps a large elephant can use its trunk to give out the diplomas.

To add more excitement, we could have the students jump through burning hoops and walk through shards of glass before they receive their diplomas. The audience will be allowed to munch on popcorn and cotton candy for the duration of the rites, of course.

2. Drama Theme. 
Some schools emphasize academics more than they do extra curricular activities. As a result, students who have a flair for the arts are left unmotivated and unfulfilled. These creative and theatrical people should have a hand in conceptualizing the graduation rites. They could release their pent up artistic frustrations by lending a little Broadway style pizzazz to the event.

One way would be for the stage to be draped with heavy black cloth. Students will go up the stage wearing heavy, wrought iron chains. This signifies their agonizing plight in going through years and years of back breaking school work. When they receive their diplomas, they raise their shackled arms and break the chains!

When all of the graduates have received their diplomas, they let out a loud cheer in unison, and the black cloth drops away to reveal a multitude of color and light, with merry music playing.

3. Cheering Theme. 
Instead of having the graduation rites in a stuffy old auditorium, schools can have it in an open air field with spectators all around. This not only adds zest to the event, but it saves time and money for everyone concerned by combining two of the most anticipated activities in the academic calendar.

Different classes will have to complete at least one human pyramid before they can get their diplomas. They must also present one cheer concerning their favorite Algebraic theorem and another one concerning their favorite English grammar rule. Just picture this: "Give me an I before E! Except! Except! Except after C! Woohoo!" Parents and families will be given pompoms and streamers to cheer on the graduates. Great fun for everyone!

Congratulations to the millennium's first batch of graduates!