It's at a time like this where everything takes on a new nature.
I look in the mirror and everything feels different.
"So this is what a college graduate looks like?" I think, as if my sideburns and eyelashes gained some intrinsic distinctions between after my last exam. Anxiously clicking the "refresh" button on Firefox to see if the transcripts have been updated, because it's not official until it's on paper.
A piece of paper will do its best to summarize my college experience with a GPA and a list of classes, and I'll do my best go along with the program. I have my cap & gown and organizational cords. My family and friends are on the way to town. My post graduate plans are falling into place, and I don't think I've shown the slightest degree of emotion.
In my head I know how the moments supposed to go. I know what it's made of.
Proud graduates line up in the dew of the early morn with smiles and point-&-shoot cameras. The seats are filled spectators waiting for one name to be called. Sure, they'll give a small pity clap for everyone who crosses, but you'll know whose who when the names are called.
A precession, a salute of nationalism and a speech will come at some point. "Will they hurry up?" think the anxious graduates in the fear that someone will approach them to say they failed a class, thus subjecting them to formality.
Time for the role call. "Shameless Vagabond" says the speaker. I crack an sinister smile while pretending to be embarrassed by boisterous supporters satiating my ego. At that point I do some physical gesture of victory. Either a fist pump, sign of the cross or a strong index finger to the nearest friend. A few hundred names. A big applause. The euphoria of success comes rushing in.
That's how it goes. Right?
It sounds about right to me, except I'm not sure if I feel any of the emotions that come with this event. Is there something I should be doing? Shouldn't I have cried by now? Admittedly I've had some deep thoughts, but mostly the days leading up to my graduation have been awkward. Is there a reason to spend hours in a newsroom if newspaper isn't printing anymore, and should there be a walk to campus if there are no more classes to take? No. It's become pointless, and in it's place has flourished the silent calamity.
I'm more than overjoyed to be graduating. I've been blessed to even make it out, especially considering all the students who failed. However, the emotion I know is not the emotion I show. Shouldn't I have run around in circles and set something on fire by now?
Nope. I guess not, because I just sit here waiting for the countdown to end. My teachers will turn my grades in at the last minute bringing this escapade to a close, I will hug hundreds of people, take even more photos and I pray I have the expressions to match. Perhaps its been too long since my last graduation and I'm just not used to it. It's not like riding bike. You will forget how to graduate if there are 5 year hiatus in between.
I pray that when I'm in the actual moment I'll fall right in line. I'll smile the biggest smile, tweet from my seat and samba after I pose for my photo. However, if it turns out that I show no emotion I'll know why.
I'm not human at all.