near the edge

What does graduation mean? After four years, I still don't have any idea what will happen the day after graduation.

I understand you get this piece of paper that says you've done your required time at a land-grant university. Then what? All the movies I've seen about college end with everyone throwing their hats up in the air in slow-mo, the sentimental theme music coming on and the credits rolling. No one ever tells you what happens when they fade to black.

Fade to black. It doesn't sound like a comforting destiny.

All this time I've fantasized about donning that black robe, shaking the president's hand a little too hard and peeling off into the sunset. But as the days tick off to May 13, I can't comprehend what it will eventually mean. Some people have already decided not to attend the ceremony. To them, graduation is like escaping from prison, there's no looking back.

What if the meaning of graduation is specific to your major or status in life?

Religious studies: Is there life after graduation?

Existentialist: There is no objective graduation. Each of us, by his actions, creates his own graduation.

Computer science: My graduation just crashed.

Statistics: Is graduation probable?

Pre-law: If I don't graduate in four years, can I sue?

Poli-sci: A chicken in every pot and a diploma in every hand.

Theater arts: To graduate or not to graduate that is the question.

Clock tower protester: How long 'till graduation?

Philosophy: Does graduation exist?

English: Today I graduate, yesterday I graduated and I have graduated many times before.

Criminal law: Time off for good behavior.

Administration: Pay, graduate and get out.

Music: Pomp and circumstance again?

Exercise science: Graduate 'till it hurts.

Math: What is the limit to graduation? Infinity?

History: Graduation repeats itself.

Professional student: I'll never graduate.

Politically correct professional student: I'm graduationally challenged.

Racetrack management: I bet I can graduate soon.

Finance: How much will graduation cost?

Business: What will graduates buy?

Nursing: Don't worry. Graduation won't mid

hurt a bit.

Pharmacy: Graduation. It'll make you feel good.

Honors student: What do I have to do to graduate in four years?

Chemistry: What reaction will I get from graduating?

Sociology: Why can't we all just get along and graduate?

Nihilist: Graduation is meaningless.

Optimist: Graduation is just the beginning.

Pessimist: Graduation is the end.

Procrastinator: Can I still graduate in May?

Journalist: How can I graduate now?

You get to the point in your college career where graduation is inevitable. You reach critical mass in the people you can tolerate, lectures you can sit through and general crap you can endure. You want to get out. You need to get out. If they don't let you out, you may have to scale the clock tower and take some people out.

The next two weeks are going to be painful. It's going to be very difficult for graduates to go to class, be polite to people we'll never see again or afford the cost of a cap and gown. But as an idealist, I have to believe graduation will be worth it. Graduation. It does a body good.

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