UCLA Commencement 2003
Graduation at last!
College of Letters and Science had approximately 2500 students participating, filling Pauley Pavillion with their guests (12,000?). 4-5pm, graduates met in Drake Stadium in one of four sections to enter Pauley at 5pm. Life Sciences, Physical Sciences, Humanities, and Social Sciences all met separetely-- in reality people mixed a little bit...
The actual meeting process was a bit screwy; a lack of directions meant people got lost getting into Drake, and a lack of communication on my part meant that I didn't meet any of my friends beforehand to take pictures! =( Eventually, Dave, Joel, Lee, Jessica, Pearl, and Julie all joined me at Drake and we walked down into Pauley together, neatly filling the end of a row and the start of another row of seats as we experienced commencement. Various screw-ups meant that we never met up with Rebecca and everyone else, though! *sigh* Even cell phones couldn't save the day...
Cell phones certainly helped, though. Imagine 2500 people dressed the same way in a single mass on the floor. Even with an orange Ars circle on my head, finding me was a pain-- and finding my parents would have been impossible had I not called them on my cell! Pearl had perhaps the biggest screw up that was saved by her cell phone; her fiance Jer and her parents couldn't find each other. Crazy!!
Commencement speakers were uninspired. The student speaker babbled for the first 90% and had a good last 10% of her speech, while the main speaker-- Los Angeles County Supervisor for District #3, I forget his name-- was terrible, dragging statistics on the poor, uninsured, and other political matters into his speech. I thought graduation speeches were for the graduates?? HELLO?
Lots of recognition was given. Those who'd done research for the university, college honors, Latin honors, (cum laude, magna cum laude, summa cum laude), etc. etc. etc. I got to stand up for research recognition (as did many others), woohoo! After the master's degrees were announced, undergraduate degrees were announced by department and section. Some tiny departments at first... things got bigger and bigger; Life Sciences was damned big. Then Social Sciences was called, the last and biggest group, and we got loud! [video of Social Sciences announcement (right click to save as)]
Some more talking, plenty of pictures during the commencement by many, including Pearl and Julie... managed to meet up with Rebecca somehow (!) in the crowd... and then it was over, we were exchanging hugs, taking more pictures, gathering the dropped balloons, and filing out...
Made it outside through the crush of people. Met Pearl's parents, said hi to Jer, a few more pics, Julie ran off, then I ran off to meet with my family: Mom, Dad, Sis, Grandma, Auntie Judy, and cousin Kristen. I'm so glad they could make it-- especially Grandma, who had never been to Los Angeles in her entire life until this trip! Met with Rebecca and her family, then with Dave... then ran off to dinner!
After dinner with the family at Little Italian Kitchen* in Westchester, did a little partying with Dennis, Pete, Erik, Jason, Tracy, and a few others before I wandered back to my apartment to collapse into bed for the next day's department graduation!
* = about Little Italian Kitchen. Nice quiet atmosphere, but for food, skip it. It's not bad, but C&O and lots of other places are better.
GO BRUINS! Congrats, Class of 2003!