2014年10月1日 星期三

Graduating University

September marks the beginning of a new academic semester in Taiwan, what better way to celebrate it than to look back and reminisce about my graduation?

I graduated from university in June. The graduation season had filled my social calendar with more events than I have ever had in a entire year, even though I'm usually not one for such events, I still managed to participate as much as I could, since it could very well be the last time I'll get to see my classmates again.

Kicking off the graduation season was the Teacher Appreciation Banquet (謝師宴). The original function of these events was for students to show appreciation for their teachers by treating them to a nice meal, but over the years it had evolved into something not unlike proms in western culture, where students get the rare opportunity to dress up and wine and dine in fine hotels. Guys who live in t-shirts and shorts their entire college life showed up in spanking new suits, and girls who never wore makeup were all dolled up with fluttery lashes and pouty lips. Some girls will go all out by showing off various body parts, which I'm glad I didn't see because how is it ever appropriate to show your underboobs to your professors? (Though one may argue it's a way of showing appreciation?)
Clearly I'm not the outrageous type.
Men in suits. Who are they?!
 The Teacher Appreciation Banquet was certainly not the only photo opportunity. In my school, we were able to borrow the academic dresses free of charge for a period of time, and  keep them longer for a small fee. I'm not the most creative when it comes to photos since I rarely take photos, but I did snap a few with friends and teachers.

It's just impossible to look good in something with a non-existent waistline...but look there is a fancy backdrop that the school spent tons of money on!

Besides the more formal banquet, another high light of grad season was the graduation party, Held at a nightclub, the party had me really stressed out because I didn't want to overdress, but didn't want to overdress either. I ended up with the look below and was quite satisfied! Special thanks go to my friend Shaoyu for braiding my unruly hair! As it turned out, people's dressing styles were all over the place, ranging from "Imma kill this night" to "I have no idea what I'm doing" to "I don't give a fuck, only here to drink."
Me and my bae <3 (I feel so on trend using "bae")
I now understand the importance of piling on heaps of makeup for clubbing upon seeing this brow-less photo. My legs look awesome though!  
I somehow ended up on stage for the party girl contest. I clearly stood no chance, cleavage always wins. 
How I looked for three consecutive days. I spent most of my five college years looking like bottom left.
All the exciting activities built up to  the most important part of graduation season, the Graduation Ceremony. Participation was not mandatory and while most graduating students showed up, I did have classmates who weren't able to make it or simply did not want to come.
The people in the back are family members, here to witness the most important moment of their kids life. It's all downhills from here folks! (Joking, heh heh.)
Like all ceremonies, this one began with lots of long speeches by government and school officials. Most of them were bureaucratic and cliche, I even heard some boos from the audience, but I maintained polite and awake like I always do during speeches. If I looked any bit discontent, that's just my resting bitch face.
I wasn't sure if it was impolite to keep my hat on, but decided not to take it off since I meticulously pinned it to my hair and wasn't specifically instructed to take it off anyway.
Running errands for my class paid off and I was chosen as representative for the Turning of the Tassel (撥穗儀式), a rite of passage where the school president changes the position of the tassel on the mortarboard cap from one side to another.
I was also awarded the Excellence in Services (服務優良) certificate for my work in student clubs and public services.
Besides certificates for the selected few, my school made sure that everyone went home with a gift bag to bid us farewell and good luck. My favourite item from the bag was the rice, which was practical and helped support Taiwan's agriculture scene.
Clockwise from top: a small pack of rice, a crystal stamp, a postcard with a maple leaf from campus, nougat, biscuit with school's motto, and a cute bag to hold it all.

All in all, I enjoyed my last days at school and thought the Graduation Student Committee did an excellent job planning all the events. Big thumbs up to you! Graduating from college certainly was a big moment in my life, and I was overcame by post-graduation anxiety, which was a part of the reasons why this post came on so late. I think I have my life somewhat figured out though, and I am planning on posting more, so stay tuned! 

4 則留言:

  1. Great post! Very funny and informative for foreigners like me who never had the chance to be part of Taiwan's college life : )

    1. I'm glad you liked it :) Funny and informative is what I always strive to be!

  2. Wish I had read your post before my first 謝師宴!Since it was my first year as the German teacher at Taipei Tech and I had no idea what this event would be all about, I was dramatically underdressed, wearing jeans and a worn-out t-shirt... Anyway nice blog, Lenny! You're a smart and pretty young lady! :)

  3. It's one of the things that one won't find in any travel guides, but so uniquely Taiwanese.
    Thank you for your kind words!