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Author Topic: Is this done (walking with kids)  (Read 9621 times)
westcoastgirl
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« on: May 04, 2012, 12:28:32 AM »

A good friend defended today. One of her committee members is my committee member. We talked after about hooding, graduation, etc. She mentioned she walked at Harvard with her 6 month old son in her arms. Is this common?

She encouraged me to walk with all three of my devils children. I'm not so into this idea. The logistics of it sound really awful--I can imagine my kids fighting as they walk across. Then again, I don't know the culture. In an all accepting world, I'd like to walk with the kids. It's just not going to happen.

Is this common? Am I out of my mind to think it's very odd? I'll admit:grad school, diss, academia and kids are sort of the animating themes of my life.

I should say--there's very little chance I'd walk with my brood. But, I sort of want to after hearing this. Logistically, is it possible? can interlopers walk? I have enough horrible moments with them in the supermarket (kid saying: you are  a f***ing god damn-nit) that I don't want to think of the horrible scenarios. Then again perhaps his comments might be appreciated
« Last Edit: May 04, 2012, 12:31:39 AM by westcoastgirl » Logged

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tuxedo_cat
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« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2012, 12:55:29 AM »

Well, sometimes it's helpful to think, "what would happen if everyone did X?"  That answers a lot of such questions pretty easily.  At least in practical terms.

The ceremony is not about you, personally.  It's about all the students who have achieved a significant educational goal on that day.  It is most respectful to those fellow students not to draw special attention to yourself or imagine that this is a moment to make some kind of statement.  So I obviously don't think it was so cool that your committee member did this.  Even if she went to Harvard.

Congratulations on finishing your degree!
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octoprof
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« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2012, 6:40:30 AM »

It is not generally done, although at my university, if the graduate is the spouse or child of a faculty or staff member, the spouse or patent can walk across the stage with them.
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monita
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« Reply #3 on: May 04, 2012, 6:51:09 AM »

I take my 6-month-old everywhere with me, but this honestly sounds like it would be more hassle than it's worth.  My graduation ceremony lasted about 4 hours, and was blazing hot, even in March.  By the end I would have had a very cranky baby, and probably the biggest audience for public breastfeeding, like, ever.

Congratulations on finishing.  Whoohoo!
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scout46
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« Reply #4 on: May 04, 2012, 7:11:39 AM »

Sounds a little selfish - the other graduates are also having their day after years of work and some might not appreciate a child up there if the child is crying or, in the case of an older child, misbehaving.

however, I tend to think kind of "old school" about the place of children at adult functions - I know this attitude is changing as people are now bringing small children everywhere.

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shamu
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« Reply #5 on: May 04, 2012, 7:51:49 AM »

Is this common? Am I out of my mind to think it's very odd?

Logistically, is it possible? can interlopers walk?

Family members are supposed to sit in the audience. My child sat with family members in the audience.

When I go to commencements nowadays, I am bored out of my mind for hours, so I can't imagine a young child being put through such torture. If the child can tolerate sitting for 3+ hours without making a scene .... well, even then, it is not about them. There are family members or babysitters that can bring the child so s/he can watch you walk. You walk, you get hooded, they watch.
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tinyzombie
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« Reply #6 on: May 04, 2012, 7:53:04 AM »

Several PhD grads brought kids at my hooding ceremony. It wasn't disruptive, although I thought it was a bit much. And then one dude almost dropped his infant daughter.

I don't recommend it.
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westcoastgirl
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« Reply #7 on: May 04, 2012, 7:59:01 AM »

Several PhD grads brought kids at my hooding ceremony. It wasn't disruptive, although I thought it was a bit much. And then one dude almost dropped his infant daughter.

I don't recommend it.

First smile of the day. That's pretty horrible (funny?).

I'm actually leaving the 3 year old behind for the entire thing (ceremony, hooding, etc.) My older kids will be present (and very bored) at the ceremony. They will come to the hooding, but they are older, so they'll just be quiet observers.

Advice well-taken, everyone. When I was on FB, I used to see pics of my friends on stage with their kids (mostly professional schools) and I thought it was a bit weird.

To be blunt, I'm feeling a bit selfish and don't want to worry about managing kids at that point. I want to do it by myself and have that moment for myself.
« Last Edit: May 04, 2012, 8:02:20 AM by westcoastgirl » Logged

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polly_mer
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« Reply #8 on: May 04, 2012, 8:06:37 AM »

Check with your local people on what the customs are.

My alma mater routinely had people walk with family members: kids, spouses, grandparents, second-cousins-twice-removed-by-marriage.

We had all kinds of funny hats and often we had people who wore tribal garb instead of cap-and-gown.

Everyone walked in one ceremony from the people earning associate degrees through the people being hooded for their doctorates.

The audience consisted of much of the town because the ceremony functioned as the spring homecoming.

The recessional was  Darth Vader's Imperial March from Star Wars.

Oh, and the ceremony seldom lasted more than an hour.

I kid you not.  Man, I love my alma mater. 

Anyway, check with the local folks and find out how kid friendly your commencement is to help you decide.
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tinyzombie
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« Reply #9 on: May 04, 2012, 9:49:13 AM »

Several PhD grads brought kids at my hooding ceremony. It wasn't disruptive, although I thought it was a bit much. And then one dude almost dropped his infant daughter.

I don't recommend it.

First smile of the day. That's pretty horrible (funny?).


Happy to help. It was horrible -- the whole audience gasped in unison -- but then when the baby was ok, it became funny.

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To be blunt, I'm feeling a bit selfish and don't want to worry about managing kids at that point. I want to do it by myself and have that moment for myself.

Nothing wrong with that. You worked hard for this - enjoy it!
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I think we have three of them, but the smallest one seems to be the leader.
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Who needs real life when Sandra Bullock is around?
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westcoastgirl
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« Reply #10 on: May 04, 2012, 9:50:52 PM »

Check with your local people on what the customs are.

My alma mater routinely had people walk with family members: kids, spouses, grandparents, second-cousins-twice-removed-by-marriage.

We had all kinds of funny hats and often we had people who wore tribal garb instead of cap-and-gown.

Everyone walked in one ceremony from the people earning associate degrees through the people being hooded for their doctorates.

The audience consisted of much of the town because the ceremony functioned as the spring homecoming.

The recessional was  Darth Vader's Imperial March from Star Wars.

Oh, and the ceremony seldom lasted more than an hour.

I kid you not.  Man, I love my alma mater. 

Anyway, check with the local folks and find out how kid friendly your commencement is to help you decide.

Thanks, all!

Polly_mer--that is awesome and sounds like so much fun. I actually just filed to go to the Rainbow graduation on campus as an ally. I can't wait. I hope I will be able to wear my colored tassel at graduation. It actually said on the website that undergrads can't wear it and grads have to check with their division. That seemed odd.
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anisogamy
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« Reply #11 on: May 04, 2012, 9:56:03 PM »

My son, then not quite one, was in the audience when I was hooded.  I hadn't even thought to bring him up with me, and I think it would have been a logistical mess had I tried to do so.  I did get some great pictures of me holding him while I was wearing my regalia, though.
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usukprof
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« Reply #12 on: May 04, 2012, 9:59:13 PM »

I agree with polly_mer; ask others that have done it in previous years.  We have separate hooding and recognition ceremonies by school in which it would be awkward.  But the university-wide commencement march is a huge affair with students wearing all sorts of things in addition to (and sometimes instead of) the gown.  The nurses all wear little nurses hats on top of their mitre boards.  People routinely march with their children and it is a delightful party.

I think that unless it would be disruptive in your setting it would be great.
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westcoastgirl
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« Reply #13 on: May 04, 2012, 10:12:11 PM »

I agree with polly_mer; ask others that have done it in previous years.  We have separate hooding and recognition ceremonies by school in which it would be awkward.  But the university-wide commencement march is a huge affair with students wearing all sorts of things in addition to (and sometimes instead of) the gown.  The nurses all wear little nurses hats on top of their mitre boards.  People routinely march with their children and it is a delightful party.

I think that unless it would be disruptive in your setting it would be great.
Wow. That sounds fun!

My ceremony is in the morning (division of humanities with the law school and others; I'm not even sure how they decide who to lump together). Then it's on to reception after reception and then the hooding. My husband will hood me, unless my advisor comes (doubtful).

This place is quite stodgy, so we'll see. The problem is, I don't have much experience, so I'll just do everything the "traditional" way. My husband graduated in the summer quarter three years ago. I didn't see anything "fun" or out of the ordinary at his, though it was much smaller.
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havesometea
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« Reply #14 on: May 06, 2012, 5:35:14 PM »

At my last graduation, the kids were little and were left at a friend's house with her kids and a sitter. When I finish my current program, I would be delighted to have my (all over 18 yo) kids in the audience and joining us for the celebration afterwards. I'm hoping we have a nice flurry of family graduations within a 2-3 year period :-)
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