Just got back yesterday from convocation week. I wasn't really up to it, I thought I wouldn't enjoy it. How wrong I was, how wrong I was indeed. It was my first version of convo ceremony and I hope there'll be a few more in store for me. I'm not much of a writer but I'll write anyway. It's my blog...
I refused mother to buy new clothes. I didn't tell people about it unless they asked me. I didn't know what to say if they did. I wasn't up to convo last week. I took 2 days off just for this and on Friday morning my family and I were off to Penang - my grandma's hometown and where my former campus is located where I spent almost 5 years of my life, USM.
We went to Mak Njang's first for the robe and other convo stuff. Abang Izwan was very kind to collect those for me. There were a couple of invitation cards, official books and receipts apart from the robe and the mortar board. Mother was the one who was making sure everything was there, not me. I wasn't interested. I was still trying to reason my convocation. I didn't excel in studies - just on the average bar. What the celebration should be about?
Ammar was going through the book I didn't know what he was looking for. It wasn't until he showed me my name in the book that I suddenly saw myself sitting in the hall and walking on the stage and receiving my honors degree. I could only imagine how many people could only wish to be in my place.
Upon arriving at grandma's we were welcome by Tok and Cik Dah. We had to rest because of the tiring 4 hour journey we just had. I took the time to watch a movie on VCD to shake convo off my mind. I didn't want to think about it. I had to go to the rehearsal at 8 pm and I was too clueless to go alone so I rang my friend. Good news! She also had her rehearsal at 8! So arrangement of when and where were made and I was off to shower.
When I was in the hall they were showing the places around USM on 2 big screens. And it hit me again.Those were the places I frequented during the 5 years. I knew every road, every path, every tree, the hills and the lakes. I recognized them in my heart. This was the place where I gained knowledge. The place where by far I've experienced life the most. And I was going to leave it and it'd become a memory of the past if it hadn't been for the convocation, a chance for me to say thank you, my utmost gratitude.
On Sunday, 2.30 pm, I was already in the hall. Sitting on my right was my former classmate. As I looked around and when my eyes were fixed on the stage, "Finally!.." I said to her. I meant to say finally I was in the hall despite all the earlier usual commotion (the robe, last minute preparation, etc). She said back to me, "Yes, after years of studying, we're finally here. Worth every struggle." Shortly after a little chinese lady came and took her seat on my left. She was excited and all smiles to the end. We talked a little, she was friendly and helpful with my robe. I realized how important that day must have been to all the graduates. Why didn't I feel it as important? I must've had missed something big.
When the ceremony started, then I understood as the Pro-Chancellor walked towards his seat escorted by the senates and the deans. I was amazed by their achievements, all shown by their robes. These VVIPs only attend VVIP's functions, I thought. It showed me how grand the ceremony was with their presence.
I was so happy and thankful when I was on the stage. I was fortunate to have realized what was it all about before it was too late. I even look good in the pictures.
The speeches afterwards were uplifting, inspiring and touching at the same time especially the one made by the Tan Sri ("I welcome you all to the fellowship of educated men and women.") It had reawaken the burning passion of learning I've always had and to continuously better myself, the achievement to be proud of. Some people measure success materially but I wasn't raised that way.
Some of my relatives came afterward to congratulate me. I received 4 bouquets of flowers + 1 stalk of pink carnation from little cousin.
I felt blessed, truly I do still.