Friday, May 13, 2011

Pomp, Circumstance, And Decorated Hats

I noticed and later participated in a trend that, after six years of reflection, seems to be a slap in the face of academia. That trend is the purposeful defacement of the topside of a graduating candidate's hat. I can't be certain, but I think it started with just one person: the class clown. Since then, the practice has become almost a prerequisite to earning a degree.

When I did it, the candidate would write a message with either shoe polish or masking tape. Some were humorous, like "Got a job?" or "Got a job!" (depending on the situation). Mine was a praise: "Thank you Jesus!" I've seen "Veni Vidi Vici" and "What a relief!" Since then, I've seen colorful streamers and sparkly ribbons added to the text-only messages. I'm sure you could google some images if you want to.

My point in bringing all this up is this: is this trend of making a joke of the graduation uniform a reflection of the ceremony itself? Is graduating from college no longer the feat it once was? Is the degree itself a joke? I really hope not because I have one, but I'm beginning to wonder. Especially after seeing the monstrosity below. Really?? What's next, margaritas instead of diplomas? I'm all for traditions and fun, but I think this is taking things too far. What do you think?

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