The sweetest time of a student's life - the end of 4 years of blood, sweat and tears. Blood? YES, when you are in a science degree and taking your own blood to be used as a normal control is part of the curriculum. August to October is covocation time over here. After 4 years of seeing the students in T-shirts, jeans and very often I have wondered if they wore their pyjamas to lectures, it is really fantastic to see them all dressed up.
It is amazing to see the guys in, not only neck ties and collars, but in full suits. They are quite unrecognisable when they get all spruced up and then you think, "OK, they are ready to handle the real world." It is a joyous occassion for them but graduation is always sad for me. It's like your own kids leaving home - after 4 years of nagging and drilling them everyday for their examinations and dissertations, and sometimes wishing they will disappear from your room forever. Graduation reminds you they are really leaving forever.
I always feel guilty on this day for having been impatient when they did not understand their work or for getting angry when their assignments were late. On this day, as I watch their smiles, I am reminded that actually my students have taught me more than what I have taught them. I may have taught them facts and figures, but they have taught me about life and living life differently.