Saturday, May 17, 2014


This is the first time I've been required to attend a graduation ceremony as a faculty member. So I broke out my new doctoral robes (I got the cheapest version, which still isn't that cheap). Thankfully, being pregnant poses no problem for fitting into graduation gear. On the other hand, it poses tons of problems for boiling under a big, thick gown for two hours, while intermittently sitting and standing. Thankfully, one of my colleagues brought snacks, so I was well-fed during.

On the topic of graduations, I appreciated this article, "Dear Class of 2014: Thanks for Not Disinviting Me." This whole protesting-every-possible-commencement-speaker thing is boring: it means that the only way to emerge unscathed is if you've never done anything controversial. It means that the only commencement speakers left are fairly unknown, unobjectionable people. It also just reminds me that the mob loves to get briefly incensed about things (the recent phenomenon that I find most worrisome). (I love that the replacement Haverford speaker gave the students heck for protesting the first speaker away.)

(Since I'm linking to things, who knew that students work for tuition at the College of the Ozarks. Interesting. I'd love to visit.)

Also, something I discovered at graduation: there is an interesting part of the alma mater:

When the last big game is over
And the last roll call is heard 
When the oldest pedagogue
Has had the final word

I was surprised about the use of "pedagogue"; Francisco said they are just trying to be poetic, but "pedagogue" today definitely has negative connotations. Here's Merriam-Webster:

 teacherschoolmasterespecially :  a dull, formal, or pedantic teacher
ped·a·gogue also ped·a·gog 

Examples of PEDAGOGUE

  1. pedagogue whose classroom lessons consisted entirely of reading directly from the textbook in a monotone

Maybe in 1930, when the alma mater was written, it had a slightly different meaning?

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