You have surely seen me being a drama queen about it. Whether about the graduation fees or about what should I wear a few hours before the ceremony, it’s time now to see what this is all about.
This was the 10th annual graduation ceremony that AUST holds. The ceremony was set to start at 4pm on Thursday, June 7th 2011 in BIEL. There were around 800 students (as they claimed) and each person was allowed to invite 7 persons (unless he pays 25$ for each extra ticket.) So do the math and tell me the number of the audience.
As every Lebanese event, and according to Lebanese customs and/or road traffic, people arrive late and eventually the ceremony would start late consequently. It started around 15 minutes late. We were dying in the backstage sitting there since 2pm (well, I left home at 2:30 and arrived there at around 3:15.) Okay so my wait wasn’t a long wait, but waiting by itself is irritating.
Okay, so the ceremony started by having all the students enter the hall and be seated, followed by the teachers, doctors, deans, chairmen, and president. Then came loads of speeches, some of them never ended, and we (the graduates) weren’t able to hear most of the speeches, so just sat there smiling, afraid to be caught by the camera doing something yo mama won’t be proud seeing on the 4 big screens with hundreds watching it.
After the speeches were done (ya3ni shi se3a, se3a w nos), an honorary doctorate was given to Mr. Ghassan Tueni (Al Nahar newspaper) for his terrific work in the field of journalism and politics. He was represented by his granddaughter Nayla Tueni accompanied by her husband Mr. Malik Maktabi. A video biography of the elder Tueni was played showing his marvelous work over the years. Tears were showing on Nayla’s eyes. The memory of her late father Gibran Tueni can never be erased from her mind. [for more info – Link]
After all that Jazz, the deans started handing the certificates (fake ones of course) starting with the Business students. They constituted half of the crowd. Waiting for all that time got us all on our nerves (and got us all sweaty and our butts so itchy from sitting) but after this long wait, the walk to the president of AUST, vice president and the chairman is so worth it. Walking proudly across the whole hall in front of everyone including your family is worth waiting, paying, sweating, deciding what to wear, and making fuzz about it on any social media available to me.
The ceremony ended by us throwing our caps up high and trying to catch them again with the falling white and blue balloons. I got lots of photos with my family and my best friend Nadine (who still has the photos waiting for me to go and take them.)
The Party Drama:
I think most of you have seen my before-graduation-party drama about what to wear.
I didn’t want to classic, black and white. I wanted to stand out. So if you didn’t see what I was about to wear, here it is.
I have had pretty funny comments on Google+ when I added the photo and asked for feedback. Some liked it, others didn’t, and some got creative giving me fashion advice. I got propositions ranging from going nude, to going in a black bikini with a platinum wig (and to get more classical, I could add a black tie.) I wanted to try GAGA’s heelless heels that she wears, it would have been fun wearing them. but the story took another turn!
Okay, here it is, but please, don’t judge me. I don’t have a girlfriend. So I was going alone until my sister wanted to go. She had put me with one condition; NOT TO WEAR THAT THING TO THE PARTY. So I decided I’d take her and make her suffer with my hard to please taste. And that’s what we did. We went clothes shopping on the graduation day. To make the story short, I bought a black pair of pants, and a classy blue and white shirt. They look a little classic, but they don’t look overused and very common.
The party was at Janna Sur Mer – Damour. Few days earlier, there has been a tragic incident of food poisoning that targeted another graduation party at the place in front of Janna, i.e. Utopia. I was a bit scared of eating there. Anyways, we took our places and ordered the drinks. We ordered wine; the waiter didn’t bother to ask what kind of wine and immediately went. He came back after a long time bringing two long vodka glasses covered with water drops and fingerprints and filled with Rosé wine. We couldn’t even think of drinking it. I drank water in a glass that I wiped before using. When I tried to ordered beer (since it might be the safest thing to drink) the waiter said they are out of cold beer.
As for the food, it was an open buffet, but as soon as people got there, nothing was left, or as we say in Arabic “غط الحمام, طار الحمام.” Well I managed to get some salad, tabbouleh and hummus. I didn’t bother waiting in line for the shawerma or barbequed things since it was too crowded. And I heard that the shawerma and the BBQ were from Barbar… Ma b7ot bi demmti!
Anyways, the catering was horrible. But the entertainment was fine. After the usual DJ music, Michaella Stephan rocked the night with a mix of Arabic and international music. She has a great voice and I think she didn’t want to go mainstream and that’s why she is not very well known for her talent. Some of my friends didn’t like her, but WTH, they don’t like lots of things that I like. To keep the party going, more hours of DJ dance music kept the crowd moving.
The worst part of it all was the hangover I got afterwards for 2 days. And yes, you heard me correctly (or read correctly) when I said I didn’t consume any alcohol.
At the end of it, it was fine. After not wanting to go, I changed my mind about that and agreed with mom that it’s a nice experience that I might not live again in the coming few years. I’m turning a blind eye on all the negative things that happened and keeping this as a good memory for years to come.
Finally a Graduate
I took most of the photos from this group [link] that’s created for sharing things among us,
the graphic design class of 2011.
My thanks goes to Nada Sardouk for the photos.
and yes, no photos of me because they are still with my friend Nadine and I’m busy and lazy to go get them from her (and I’m posting this a week after the graduation), anyways, Thanks a lot Nadine for being there for me , not only at the graduation.
and I want to thank everyone who helped me and stood by me when I wanted them even though I wasn’t always there for them. Thanks to my family+extended family and for my friends and for my non biological twin () Sara and for Samer who helped me while I was fighting with my senior project.