On Saturday I attended my first UW-Parkside Commencement ceremony, where I performed a new task: reading the names of graduates in my college. I was quite nervous about that, as I did not want to mispronounce anyone’s name, and had never read names before. Additionally, I was told that the phonetic spellings that some students write on the cards they hand you do more harm than good. Three or four times I hesitated before reading the names, and the students in those instances helped me by whispering the pronunciation, and I think I did OK with the rest. Whew!
I did make a mistake with the first three students, however: I just read each student’s name instead of her/his name, degree, and major. I corrected myself with the fourth student, and it was smooth sailing after that.
One additional change for this Commencement vs. the ceremonies I attended at the University of Minnesota: I borrowed one of the robes kept by the Office of the Chancellor instead of having regalia rented for me. Since I’ll now be wearing regalia much more often as an administrator than I did as a faculty member I think I’ll go ahead and buy my own. It’ll be nice to get that cool doctoral tam!