Finally 8 months after graduating from the Technological Education Institute of Thessaloniki, Department of Informatics on the 14th of December the graduation ceremony took place. I really dislike formalities but there are some things that you just have to do I guess. The official graduation ceremony is not even compulsory since at the very time you graduate you get provided with a degree paper which can be used for virtually anything requiring you to prove you are a graduate of TEI.
That aside the ceremony gave out the feeling of something like a social event, a social obligation you can say. Something that you have to do for your parents, relatives, professors to see you holding a parchment and reciting an oath. It was to be expected but that did not change the fact that it felt really pointless. Something that really made an impression to me was the fact that almost everyone (except me) wore a suit or some other kind of really formal clothing. I don’t have anything against formal clothing, on the contrary I really like wearing a suit when the occasion demands it but wearing a suit there sounded like an overkill to me. Guess everyone else did not share the same opinion 😛
I have to admit that I really felt like the black sheep in there because of the way I dressed. All in all it was quite an interesting event. Even though it was extremely…boring.
One thing that made a very very bad impression was the oath that we had to recite. If there is one thing I hate it is when religion gets involved where it just does not belong. We all had to hold our right hand up in a very funny way (depicted by me in the picture…something tells me I did it wrong). Why do we have to swear by a god some of us might not even believe in, I really can not understand.
The oath itself was funny. It did not include any religious sentences but it was very generic and from what I have heard it is the same in many Greek institutions. It would have been better if it was a little more specific towards the subject we studied in that institution but well I guess we can’t have it all. Here is a rough Greek-English translation of the oath:
By finishing my studies in this Institution,I am obliged to and at the same time I am willing to confirm consciously to all the people of the TEI of Thessaloniki that I will serve and follow the values, the arts, and the sciences which I learned here. With open mind I will study and I will critically accept all the advances in science,technology and culture and with unwavering will I am going to care for the greater good as a responsible citizen for the good of our country. I promise to the Greek society that I will selflessly and with everything I have serve our National Independence, peace, democracy and social equality always respecting the constitution and the laws of the state, and that I will fight for the preservation and the continuation of the ideals, traditions and customs of our nation.
The ceremony required each of the graduates to go sign a big book denoting that the graduate finished his studies in the institution. Helping the graduates locate their name in the book was professor Adamidis Panagiotis.
One annoying thing about the ceremony was the number of photographers. They were everywhere and they were taking pictures all the time. Even though everyone’s family had their own camera, the photographers were taking something like 30 pictures per minute hoping to sell them to the families of the graduates after the ceremony. Not to mention that they were shouting to you, demanding to look them in the eye so that they can take a nice picture. Here is a picture which is an example of that. Someone yelled at me asking to pose for a photo and I took a very strange look.
After signing the book a professor gave us the diploma along with some wishes for a successful career and a good life. No matter how pointless I considered the ceremony to be, that very moment felt nice.
Everyone was happy when the ceremony ended. Especially my relatives. They seemed to be really proud and happy. I don’t understand their way of thinking but if that pointless ceremony satisfied and made them happy then I am also happy. I like to see them smiling. After the ceremony we all lined up for pictures with professors and some friends. Here is a photo of me and George a friend of mine who graduated too. With us are some friends who are also students of the institution and a professor, Demosthenes Stamatis.
All in all the graduation ceremony from the Technological Education Institution of Thessaloniki, Department of Informatics felt like a big relief. A chapter of my life now formally closing and opening way for many more chapters to come. I have had some really bad moments while studying in that institution. Many times I consider I was misjudged especially as far as examination results were concerned. Times feeling like the subjects taught in the institution are just so easy and boring that they are not worth my time. Times when I was just wishing for something more. But all these are now over. The TEI of Thessaloniki, Department of Informatics part of my life is over and I can now move on to whatever the future holds. A big sigh of relief.