UPDATE: Do read the comments. Once again, Historiann immediately gets to the heart of the matter.
I do have a couple of posts I'm working on backed up, but right now I just need to vent about something. And it has to do with commencement.
At Urban University, commencement is optional for faculty. And it can be kind of irritating -- Urban U. has a student population of over 30,000, so commencement, even broken up into five separate ceremonies (two for my college alone) has an assembly-line feel to it. Plus, we share our ceremony with Big Rowdy Party Major, so not only is there whooping, hollering, and air horns; also they go first, then they get up and leave as soon as they are done, which never fails to piss me off. Worse yet, so do their faculty. From the front row.
Still, I go, and breathe deeply when things start to irk me, and stand up and shake the hand of or give a hug to every one of our majors that processes by, even if I've never had them in class. This is about them, not about me. It is their moment, and I owe it to them (and their parents) to be there, and be fully respectful and attentive. I don't care if they were A students or barely squeaked by; for this two hours, once a year, it's all about them. And a lot of my department colleagues feel the same way -- we usually have the best faculty turnout, and are kind of proud of that fact.
Plus, truth be known, I kinda like wearing my regalia. It's the one time of year in our very casual university where I feel like an old-skool Professor-with-a-capital-P.
So, I put in my annual order for rental regalia** by e-mail while I was in Exotic Research City, scheduled my research trip and Kalamazoo-related travel so that I would be back to participate. And I was glad I did, because I found out in early April that one of my M.A. students won one of the college's two awards for "best M.A. thesis." Dang. Definitely not missing this year's ceremony.
So, you can imagine how distressed I was to get home from my Excellent Midwestern Adventure to find a note in my inbox to the effect that the College staffer in charge of such things had not submitted any of the orders that our department staff had sent them back in March. Meaning that, although commencement is next week, and although our faculty takes commencement seriously, we (with the exception of those who purchased their own regalia somewhere along the line) will be showing up in Urban University-themed robes and M.A. hoods that the bookstore scrounged together, "though not all sizes may be available."***
**I was very excited, as this was the first year that I remembered my cap size without having to measure: 7 1/2. Yes, I have a big ol' head -- what about it?
***On the other hand, I guess it's an opportunity for me to walk the walk of my egalitarian talk, no?