Greetings from Pitt’s 2020 Commencement (Virtual)

By: Sonya Acharya

The high cost of graduation ceremonies - Study International

It’s been a grand total of 22 days since Pitt did a virtual graduation thing on Zoom, because where else would they do it, everything’s on Zoom now. OK I lied, it was actually on YouTube. I’ve only just come out of my coma, which lasted 22 days because I was in mourning due to personal reasons, including but not limited to the fact that I’m going to be 22 years old. All of this goes to say that only now can I share my thoughts on the virtual graduation thing.

Here’s a link if you want to follow along! https://youtu.be/lh0CJDk9t80

Thought #1: Highly recommend tuning in if you’re in the mood to tear up at the experience of hearing Pomp and Circumstance while watching a vertical panning shot of Cathy.

Thought #2: I’m not so sold on these choppy jump-cuts of campus buildings and scenes (hello to the Music Building which I haven’t seen since Fall 2017, and R.I.P. to the 10A running on Bigelow) set to the “Alma Mater” song.

Thought #3: Yesss the victory lights!!! (Nooo to the vertical laser)

Thought #4: Gallagher misses us? That’s new. *tears up* This is the first time I’m seeing him and hearing him at the same time. Simply wild.

Thought #5: Cue the stock phrases about how we’ve adapted to these changing times.

Thought #6 / Interruption: Maybe I should stop referring to these as thoughts.

7: Wow I can see that he’s reading out this speech, probably from the same computer that’s recording him.

8: I wonder if he’s in his house at 718 Devonshire St. Maybe I should go there the next time I go for a walk. Maybe I should tap on the windows and make hissy noises to see if I can get him to move.

9: The second wave of cut-shots of people having fun without me, set to what is apparently “The Panther Fight Song”, are giving me a headache ☹

10: Made the 2020 vision joke, that we were supposed to have *gasp* 2020 vision but we didn’t *gasp* see this coming. *GASP*

11: Said the words “unprecedented time”

Edit: someone said it again

Edit #2: someone said “unusual times”. Probably multiple instances

Edit #3: also “trying times”, also probably multiple.

12: Comparisons I didn’t see coming – Pitt students are strong like bridges and tangy like Heinz ketchup.

13: Ladies and gentlemen, we finally have a face for the name of Provost Anne E. Cudd. She’s the only one thus far who’s worn academic regalia. Either she missed the memo, or everyone else missed the memo. Regardless, Ann E. is killing that hat.

14: Patrick D. Gallagher wants me to stand for formality even if I’m the only one in the room? Okay Patty, I’ll do it, but you WISH you could shake my hand.

15: Dear Patrick D. Gallagher, What is the fucking point of you sending me a virtual diploma? Sincerely (but not much), Sonya

16: You look forward to putting the real thing in my hands? Don’t bullshit me Pat, the real one will be shoved into my mailbox in the end of July.

17: Damn, we get a speech from Tom Wolf!! Also Joanne Rogers!! And Rachel Levine! Those are a few of the few names I recognize. *tears up at some point* I appreciate all the love and stock phrases being showered upon me by strangers.

18: I do not understand why I’m tearing up yet again. I’ve done it about 4 times already and it’s only been 25 minutes. This is very new to me because I rarely cry. The only movies I cry at are Up because duh, Inside Out (against my will, for Bing Bong), and Little Women (2019).

19: I AM LIVING FOR BRADY-BRUNCH-STYLE PITT BAND PLAYING “SWEET CAROLINE” WITH FIREWORKS

20: small comment, after weeks of my professors referencing The Brady Brunch, I still do not know exactly what The Brady Brunch is, and at this point I’m almost too afraid to ask.

21: Fuck it, I never asked questions in college and that’s why I’m like this.

22: Who are the Bradys? Why are they having brunch? What’s special about this brunch of theirs? What does that have to do with Zoom?

 

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