Okay, so I’m a *little* late again. Kurt’s graduation was actually last year, so this is old news. In fact, he’s already found himself a nice, stable job since then. I debated long and hard whether I should even write this entry, but since today is the UPLB graduation, I’m just going to go ahead and use that as an excuse to post these photos. I figured people are going to be posting graduation photos all day anyway, so I might as well join them … even if these photos are a year old XD
Kurt earned his 2nd degree last May from the California State University Northridge (CSUN). Since we were visiting, he invited us to attend his graduation.
Quick shot of Ezra and Kurt outside Ninang’s house before we left
Putting his toga on at the school parking lot
Love this shot my dad took of me while we were walking to the grounds
We got there a bit early, so we just hung around for a bit, chatting and taking photos
It was my first time attending a graduation outside the Philippines so I was very interested to see if we had the same traditions.
The first thing I noticed was that the students were so colorful and bright! In UPLB you’ll mostly just see a sea of black because of the toga. (Well, I guess now it will be a sea of white since we started using the sablay too.)
Look at the graduation sashes everyone’s wearing. I suppose they don’t require students to have them since Kurt didn’t have one. I’m not sure if they’re supposed to represent something or are just there for decoration, since everyone seems to be wearing a different one.
Something else that’s not common in UP graduations – flower leis. These appear to be quite popular here. In UPLB the graduates are not allowed to carry flowers or have accessories like these.
I also noticed that CSUN wasn’t too strict with their dress code. UP has very strict guidelines about what one can wear on their graduation (although it’s common to see people breaking the rules). A lot of CSUN students wore jeans and a t-shirt to their graduation. I even saw this one guy wearing his toga over a basketball jersey and shorts. Talk about casual. On the other hand I saw a girl who looked like she was going to a royal ball because of the huge poofy (and sparkly) dress she was wearing.
But the most interesting thing I saw were the graduation caps/mortarboards. Apparently students were given free reign to design and decorate them as they wish. Of course that meant they had to buy the cap instead of renting them out. But if I worked hard for 4 years to earn a degree I’m proud of, I’d probably want to go all out too. It’s fun, and you get a nice souvenir from your graduation.
Soon it was time for the graduates to line up, and for us to find our seats.
Friend and family were free to sit in these bleachers
There were lots of people there
The graduation was held in front of the library where we took pictures when Kurt showed us around his campus a few weeks earlier
The ceremony was surprisingly quick. There weren’t a lot of speeches which helped speed the whole thing up
Soon it was Kurt’s turn to go up on stage
Here he comes
The entire ceremony only took about 2 hours. We had to clear out the area right after the event because there was another graduation ceremony taking place here in about 2 hours. It was so much quicker compared to UPLB’s graduation, which lasts for about 7 hours! Of course, these are just the graduates from Kurt’s department/school, so there weren’t as many people. But personally I think it’s better this way. Most parents and guests only attend these things to see their kids/loved ones go up on stage. They don’t really care about the other people graduating. So it’s actually more convenient for everyone when the school divides the graduates into little groups.
Another thing I noticed was that CSUN’s graduation seems to be more festive and fun than UPLB’s and UPD’s graduation. UP’s graduations are known for being solemn and serious, but that wasn’t the case here. There were lots of cheering and dancing. People brought horns and noisemakers to cheer their loved ones on. There were colorful balloons and flowers everywhere. Some graduates even brought beach balls and tossed them around during the ceremony – although I think this wasn’t allowed. The marshals kept confiscating the balls and popping them whenever they caught one. (It was fun watching the marshals chasing after the balls though.)
After the event was over, we stuck around for a while to take some obligatory photos
That’s Kurt’s pastor and his wife on the far left. They came to support him on his special day.
After this we went with Kurt to return his toga and graduation cap. We had a bit of fun with them first of course:
Congratulations Kurt! Sorry it took me a year to post this. But we’re still really proud of you – for graduating and for landing yourself a great job. Thank you for letting us share this joyous moment with you. Keep it up!