I finally hit the end of the road, so to speak. Yesterday morning, I woke up at the crack of dawn (7AM, which is insane for me) to get ready to go to Commencement. finally done!I didn’t really even plan on actually going until the day or so beforehand, but I suppose it was good to at least be able to say “I went to my college graduation.” We were told to get there an hour and a half before the actual ceremony started. Also, I somehow took a wrong turn in the parking lot, and unknowingly parked right next to the Fieldhouse where we were supposed to be lining up. At the time I thought I was just lucky for finding literally the closest spot possible, and I knew I wouldn’t have a problem since I have my handy DP parking pass. I found out later from Pat’s family that these were actually the VIP spots, which would explain why one of the attendants gave me an odd look as I parked. I didn’t get a ticket though, probably because they were slacking on the lot watching, or my DP just scared them off. Either way, I probably shouldn’t have parked there, but I did. So I got out of my car and strolled in.

“Lining up” for graduation was something that didn’t really require us to be there 45 minutes early, but I suppose it was just to play it safe. It basically just involved everyone getting into the Fieldhouse track area and getting into the correct roped-off areas according to the school they’re in. Not very tough. Sort of like wrangling cattle or some other equally dumb farm animal. I went to go to the business school corral, talked to some people I knew, and eventually they started sending us inwards to Assembly Hall. Graduates filled up almost 2/3 of the court/floor area, with the rest being an orchestra or something and the actual stage area. There were two large sections of graduates on the right and left sides of the seats as well. The rest of the place, pretty much to capacity, was filled with guests, other students, etc. I was pretty surprised that so many people were there for this. The 2006 graduating class is apparently somewhere around 7,500 people, although we were split up into 2 groups. I math would tell you there were a bit under 3,750 students there. I’m not sure what percentage of students actually come to commencement though.

As cheesy as it was, I kind of liked the whole procession and all the stupid costumes that people had to wear at the ceremony, especially on stage. I’m not exactly sure what all the different outfits and hats mean, but I swear it looked like I was watching either a really nerdy renaissance festival, or some kind of Harry Potter LARPing contest. But it was cool nonetheless. Michael Uslan, an IU grad and executive producer of all the Batman movies, gave a speech which was pretty typical I guess of a “graduation speech:” talking about stuff to do in the future, have high goals, believe in yourself, knowledge is power, blah blah blah. But I really did like his speech. I wish I would have tried to meet him or at least went to hear him speak when he was doing various things at TCOM this and last year. You can’t help but feel at least a little inspired by an IU grad whose entire life goal was to make a sweet Batman movie, and then he did it (let’s not think about Batman & Robin though). Also seeing the formality and all that of the Trustees, President, Provost, and other “high ups” from the University made me think that it wouldn’t be bad one day to come back to IU as an administrator or something. Probably not though.

So graduation is over, and so is school pretty much. I now have a BS in Business and a BA in East Asian Languages in Culture, with which I suppose you could call me edumucated. I have a somewhat big report I still need to wrap up (um..), then IUSTV work over the summer, and then I am completely done with this stage of life. I’m not completely sure what I’ll be doing in the summer besides living in Bloomington and working at the station until the end of July, but I’m thinking of getting a part time job somewhere to start saving up money for when I go to Japan in September to work as a teacher for AEON. On Tuesday, me, Pat, Brian, and Kyle are going to LA for almost a week, to bask in the glory that is E3. It’s odd to sit here on a Sunday afternoon, not really having anything to do but think about video games.

I’ll likely write more posts this summer looking back at IU. It will be weird next year living a completely different kind of life. Obviously just being in a different country will be a big change, but I’m talking more about working an actual job during the day (well, AEON is more like 11AM to 7PM), but then being done with work for the day. No having to work on stuff at night, no homework, no dealing with work-related stuff every waking hour of the day. As much as I loved school (I suppose) and IUSTV, it really was pretty taxing on me. The first thing I did in the morning was wake up to take care IUSTV e-mails, I would do IUSTV stuff pretty much all day every day, and on the rare occasion that I actually had school stuff to do I would usually cram it in somewhere in place of things like sleeping or eating. The last year has been one of the best and most fun years of my life ever, but I do have to admit that it will be nice to have a change of pace in the future.

Note: I just found out a reason why Michael Uslan is even cooler. I looked at his IMDB profile, and found out that in addition to Batman, he was the executive producer on Where in the World is Camen Sandiego?, the one that had Rockapella and everything. He now has my vote for the most successful IU Alumni EVER.