June 2008 seemed an eternity away when I first arrived on MIT's campus. But lo and behold, yesterday I received my diploma. This won't be a sappy reflective entry (that will come later!) Instead, I wanted to share some pictures that I took throughout my graduation experience yesterday. Despite the rain showers and wet feet, it was wonderful. I'm glad that I don't have to leave this place for long...
Friday June 6, 2008 began in the indoor track. All graduates (undergrads, Masters, and PhDs) were told to report to the gym between 7:45 and 8:15 am. With 2,335 graduates, there was a well-organized system where we reported to a station in order to be lined up properly for the precession (first by school (e.g. Engineering and Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences), then by major (Course 1, then 2, then 6, etc.) then by last name (alphabetically.)) There was free breakfast but the line was ridiculous.
At 7:45 am (most people hadn't arrived yet):
At 9 am:
Ah, the bond of the brass rat:
At 9:45ish, we began to leave the track and the precession began to organize on the artificial turf. The undergrads looked lame in their thin, unsubstantial gowns, while the people receiving PhDs looked very cool in their robes. One day that robe will be mine... hopefully!
On the turf:
Anna, my roommate for the first three years of college (and currently my next door neighbor):
Many members of the MIT community stood on Amherst Alley and Memorial Drive to wave and take pictures of us (including Bryan ).
Down Amherst Alley:
At around 10:15 am, we walked into Killian Court. It was really overwhelming... I felt like a gladiator entering an arena. Luckily, I was not about to fight with a tiger (though sometimes getting through MIT felt even more grueling.) I tried to enjoy the experience while telling myself not to cry.
Family and friends had to arrive as early at 7 am that day to get good seats, but we just waltzed right in. A view from my seat:
The guy on the left is Ali Alhassani, who won the Marshall Scholarship this year and happened to be next to me (our last names both start with A, and we both majored in 2A).
Ali graciously took a picture of us as well:
There were inspirational speeches by Mohammad Yunus , MIT President Susan Hockfield, the graduate and undergraduate class council presidents, and the president of the MIT Corporation.
Then, it was time to call the names....
And after the graduation ceremony, it was time to party! There were receptions EVERYWHERE, with more free food than anyone could ask for.
Also, my cousin (who is a musician in New York City) wrote me a song as my graduation present. If you'd like to hear it, go to: http://songformelis.com/ Yup, it was one of the best presents ever.
This entry is short and not very detailed, but its 7:17 am and I've only slept 3 hours. I hope you enjoyed the pictures, and leave comments with questions if you have any.