Congregation? No, thanks!

"Congratulations on your successful completion of studies at... On behalf of the University, I cordially invite you to attend the 2011 Congregation and share this joyous moment with your fellow graduates."

Thus began the letter which I almost immediately shoved away. I have never attended any such congregations for all the degrees I have ever obtained, and I am not about to change a way. An old dog doesn't like learning new tricks. I know it is my idiosyncracy, but I can never feel comfortable with ceremonies, especially with myself being the main character. Two people get married because they love each other so why should they follow all those customs and common practices and entertain other people by behaving and dressing like idiots? How much of the romance between the two people can and do those guests at the raucous banquet really share? Likewise, one studies for the knowledge and the pleasure, not the outward manifestation of the qualification. I used to shudder at the typical sight of students posing for photos in their gowns and mortarboard, holding a stuffed toy or a bouquet of flowers with one hand and making a V-sign with the other. As I grow older and more mellow, I have become less cynical and have come to accept that how other people celebrate their achievement and happiness is their own business. Still, I can't see myself ever wearing that academic dress.

Or attending that congregation.

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