Tuesday, May 09, 2006


It’s that time again, folks – graduation time. In the next few weeks, I will be a travelin’ man, attending several of these events, celebrating the achievements of many deserving students, listening to several variations of Pomp and Circumstance and stuffy speakers rambling like characters on Charlie Brown…

Yes, these times are filled with excitement, joy – and relief. Relief – for students that these damn classes are finally finished and that you can actually make some money [Wise words from Jorge to the graduates – it’s not that exciting to make money when you accrue just as many bills]. There is also relief to the parents – relief that they don’t have to spend their money on exorbitant tuition fees, books you’ll barely open and care packages filled with Ramen Noodles, Tang and Cheese Nips.

All in all, graduations are the culmination of hard work, effort, and perseverance throughout your matriculation (although some folks are just cheering that they still have livers from all the liquor they consumed on the weekends) – so it’s natural for there to be excitement when the graduate receives his/her diploma. However, some families out there should be ashamed by their actions – especially the ones I saw yesterday.

I attended my alma mater’s graduation ceremonies yesterday (I always go for the entertainment factor – HBCU’s [Historically Black Colleges/Universities] will always provide a great show). It was held outside on the campus lawn under a tent (which was very appropriate for the circus that I viewed). I saw lions, tigers and other foreign animals prominently displayed – unfortunately, it was all over people’s clothing… but I am digressing.

I am really here to provide some proper etiquette for attending graduations… so without further adieu, here it is: the 2006 Jorge Mateo Edition of Not Embarrassing Yourself or Your Family at Graduation.

Do not bring more people than tickets.
It’s not cool seeing people get turned away from the door, trying to gain entrance for 24 family members on only 10 tickets – but it does help for scalping… which I saw several non-graduates attempting to do yesterday.

Do not bring food or liquor to the ceremonies.
No one wants to hear Willie n’ dem, cheering for the wrong graduate seven times, while smelling like a mixture of Extra Tasty Crispy and MD 20/20.

Do not bring any signs, bullhorns, tambourines, kazoos or noisemakers of any kind.
This is a graduation, not Game 7 of the NBA Finals – leave the horns in the car for the wedding.

Do not attempt to squeeze a 16 into a 6.
This could be a tragedy in the making. If a button pops off, you could be charged with attempted murder by assaulting with a deadly figure.

Do not be late.
Do I really need to explain this one?

Do not get into a fist fight.
See above statement.

Follow these rules and we’ll all be happier in the long run – and I can keep my lunch down. That’s enough out of me – I have to get back on the grind. Talk to you soon…

- Jorge

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