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MIT student blogger Kim D. '09

I put on my robe and graduation hat by Kim D. '09

It's sortof hard to believe it's time for this already.

Photo Credit: Eric Schmiedl

My family came into town on Wednesday for graduation. Classes were over, and the most stressful thing I had to deal with was cleaning my room. It was pretty relaxing. I didn’t even have to rush around Boston saying goodbye to people and places that I’ve known, because I’m staying for another year to finish my Master’s degree (through the MEng/VI-A programs).

Since I am going to around for another year, I saw the graduation ceremony as more of a check-point than a finish line. I also think that attending MIT has had a side-effect of keeping me from getting too excited about ceremonies in general. After four years of urgent deadlines (Test! Lab of Doom! 4 PSETS! 2 Tests!), I seem to have adjusted some internal excit-o-meter. So in the days leading up to graduation I was glad, but not super-excited.

The big day came. Every senior gets four tickets to give to friends or family for graduation, and I was using my four for my family. This meant that my boyfriend (who is class of ’08) couldn’t come see me graduate in person. I did the next best thing to bringing him, and brought Roary instead.

Photo Credit: Tiffany Tseng

Roary is the stuffed tiger that my boyfriend gave me on our first Valentine’s Day together. I attached him to my mortarboard using a strip of cloth and a couple of alligator clips. I used the alligator clips because they were the first thing to come to hand, but after I was finished I realized that it was also a nice nod to Course 6. Tiffany ’09 took the picture above for me. The first picture in this post and the rest to follow are courtesy of the Tech photographers (who have more similar pics here.)

All the graduates-to-be congregated in the Johnson Athletic Center and sorted out who they would walk next to. Then we processed to Killian Court where our friends and families waited for us.

Photo Credit: David Templeton

Once we were actually all together walking towards Killian, it started to sink in that we were really graduating and I started getting excited about it. As we passed some of the buildings, I saw a sign hanging from a window and half a dozen people leaning out and waving at us. The sign said, “Congratulations Course 1 Grads!” and the people waving seemed to be their professors.

Photo Credit: William Yee

The ceremony itself was nice. There were a lot of people graduating though, and I eventually found myself looking around for other decorated mortarboards. I didn’t have my camera on me, but I’ve pulled some pictures from The Tech of interesting ones. I think the aero-astro majors had the highest percentage of grads with decorated caps.

Photo Credit: William Yee

Some people wore stoles with the colors of their country or region.

Photo Credit: William Yee

A friend of mine actually substituted the cap out entirely for a black cowboy hat (he attached the tassel to the brim.)
I’m not sure about the significance of this next one…

Photo Credit: Eric Schmiedl


Photo Credit: David Templeton

And a crab.

Photo Credit: William Yee

We heard speeches by the Governor of Massachusetts and MIT’s President. After the speech by our Class President, we got to turn our “Brass Rats” (class rings) in the opposite direction. Before graduating, we wear the rings so that we can see an image of the Boston skyline when we look at them. This is supposed to remind us that we’ll get through MIT eventually and go out into the world. Once we’ve graduated, we wear the rings so that we see an image of the MIT skyline. This is so that we can look back on the good times we had at MIT.

Photo Credit: Ricardo Ramirez

Part way through the ceremony, some people broke out half a dozen beach balls and started them bouncing around the student section. The reappeared later, presumably when people were bored.

Photo Credit: William Yee

Eventually it was my turn to walk. I was slightly worried about walking with the tiger on my head (since it had a high center of mass) but all went well. President Hockfield even complimented me on it as she shook my hand!

After the ceremony, I met up with my family and we went to a couple of receptions for graduating students, complete with delicious food.

And that’s it. I’m graduated. Weird.

23 responses to “I put on my robe and graduation hat”

  1. A parent says:

    Congratulations, Kim!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Congratulations and best of luck to you.

  3. Shreya says:

    Congratulations, and all the best to you :D

  4. JB '13 says:

    Congratulations, and best of luck on you Master’s. Two graduations in two years? LUCKY! Also, I believe that horse is a Swedish tradition if I am not mistaken. After a quick stint on Wikipedia to confirm, it’s called a Dalecarlian horse, or a Dala horse for short, and is a symbol of both the Dalarna region and Sweden as a whole. Perhaps like other kids were repping their countries of origin with colors, this was his way of shouting out to his friends and family back home?

    Congratz again!

  5. Anonymous says:

    Congratulations. smile

  6. Cathy says:

    Another four years before this for me…

  7. Anonymous says:

    Pretty pictures

  8. Tyrone says:

    HAHAHA. Great title. That’s what caught my attention.

  9. Helena says:


  10. Kimberly '13 says:

    Congratulations Kim.

    You go girl !!!!!

  11. Snively says:

    Yeah, I have to admit, I didn’t read the entry because I was totally sidetracked by the title.

    Title win, ftw.

  12. Spartan117 says:

    COOL someone should put master chief or arbiter on there hat. long live HALO

    oh and Congrats!

  13. Congratulations! I wish I was allowed to wear stuff on my Grad hat, lol.

  14. Joanna says:

    Congrats! Wonder where can I contact Mr. Matt? I have some questions to ask him. Thanks!

  15. Anonymous says:

    i put on my robe and wizard hat…

  16. Anonymous says:

    Oh my god. I cannot believe you used this title. AWESOME A++++ WOULD READ AGAIN

  17. Anonymous says:

    I want to put on the sorting hat.

  18. Chris says:

    ConGARDulations! Oh, how I love greeting card jokes.

  19. Than Htun Oo says:

    Dear Mr / Madam ,
    I would like to know , whether I finished my diploma course in construction engineering from BCA ( Building and Construction Authority from Singapore under the Singapore’s Government ) , can I apply for your School ? I haven’t attend this course but I am planning to attend this course but I would like to know whether your school accept this qualification or not ? You can connect me as soon as possible with my email [email protected]

    My personal information are mention as below;

    First Name = Than Htun Oo

    Family Name = Than Htun Oo

    Date of birth (*dd/mm/yy*) = 4.7.1992

    Country of citizenship = Myanmar

    Address = 53 , Damayone St , Myaynigone , Sangchaung Tsp ,
    Yangon , Myanmar .

    Phone number = 1 -534287

    Mobile phone number = don’t have

    Intended level of study = Undergraduate

    Specific course of interest = Civil engineering ( full time )

    Email addresses [email protected]

    Where did you first hear about this university = internet

    Mode of Study = On Campus

    You can connect me as soon as possible ;

    Best wishes ,

    Than Htun Oo

  20. Anna says:

    Congratulations! Just another step for you. The tiger is awesome by the way! I don’t suppose you have a picture of your friend’s cowboy hat? That would be pretty interesting to see as a graduation “cap”.

  21. Congrats on your graduation! I sort of know how it feels when you eventually understand that it’s time to say goodbye to all those great people best of the best with whom you have been enjoying your fascinating youth and working hand in hand so dedicatedly several incredible years you will never forget…It’s as if all of you climbed the highest mountain in the world step by step only together and having finally made that as a big family you feel as happy as never before, but it inevitably brought you to the point at which your pathes are no longer the same…Hmmmm hope I will experience it too at MIT…

  22. Aditi says:


    fancy mortarboard :D

  23. Alex says:

    Congratulations Kim! What are your plans after graduation?