Ok, I was going to wait until I got some pictures of the actual event before posting about graduation, but I think it's been long enough already! I'll add photos when (if?) I get them.
Graduation was, surprisingly, really nice.
It rained almost constantly the entire time I was in Montreal, with the exception of May 28th, my graduation. The sun was shinning, the birds were singing, the temperature was just right. All around campus, scores of beaming undergrads were posing in their cap and gowns.
As for me, well, I was nervous!
When I graduated from high school, I forgot to shake our speaker's hand, and instead grabbed my diploma and made a mad dash across the stage. My only thought was to get off the stage as quickly as possible, but I soon realised that I made a faux-pas when I heard the snickers behind me.
So the night before my McGill grad, I tossed and turned. I don't think I got much sleep, but when I did, they were awful nightmares involving DNA gels that wouldn't cast properly (I think we'd already established that I'm a nerd, correct?).
Amazingly, my whole family turned up, on time, at the correct location. Organizing anything with my family is like herding cats, so I really have to hand it to them this time. I donned my gown, my cape, and my cap, and wandered off to join my fellow graduating students. They lined us up according to number (I was #186), according to McGill's long standing tradition of assigning students a number rather than a name. We were told a few encouraging words from the chancellor ("Stay in line! You'll be told where to go!"), and off we went!
The McGill get-up is awful. Our capes were ridiculously impractical, consisting of a hood which strangles you as you wear it, with satin a shade of yellow that looks like the satanic love-child between glow-in-the-dark and snot yellow.
Grad itself was much shorter than anticipated; we marched in to the sound of bag pipes, Daniel Dennett gave us a speech (which was rather dissapointing, actually), and they read off our names at a fair clip (6 seconds a name). We trotted on stage, shook hands with various Important Figures (and, in the case of biology students, got a vigorous hug from our counselor and guru Anne Comeau), threw up our caps and, voila! We were officially overgrads!
Afterwards, we all milled around awkwardly. There was too much confusion to be able to track down friends, but I managed to find a few (and naturally, we posed for pictures). It was really interesting to meet friends' families and think: so that's where they get that from.
In retrospect, I still can't really believe that it happened.