It occurred to me the other day, that it’s getting to be “graduation/commencement season on high school and university campuses all over the world, or at least the country! That is, of course, a time which is looked forward to by both students AND faculty, as a time of considerable joy, as well as some sadness. Then, it occurred to me that the reason for part of that confusion might just lie in the name of the occasion. After all, “Graduation” implies COMPLETION, as in finishing something; getting to the end of something; usually thought of in an academic context. On the other hand, “Commencement” seems to suggest STARTING something; moving on; a new beginning; something potentially scary; or at least different. While these ideas are not really incompatible, it’s not surprising (at least to me) that they tend to lead to some conflicting emotions and reactions all around.
Everything good has a price to pay, however, so teachers can never quite completely forget that their students are enjoying being out of school at least as much as they are. And, while it doesn’t happen immediately; before the summer’s out, at least some students, like Non Sequitur’s Danae, will achieve their goal for the summer.
Perhaps that’s why it’s easy to confuse graduation and commencement. Something HAS ended, but there’s all too little time before something ELSE begins…
Just personal comments about things which interest me (and might interest others).