Evaluating a Virtual Commencement

Reflecting on the spring's events, David Galef offers a satiric means of assessment.

June 12, 2020
 
 
istock.com/liubov trapeznykova

A Virtual Commencement Survey

1. Did the ceremony start on time?

A. Yes, but our time zone made it 4 a.m.

B. Not sure, since we just watched the recording.

C. What’s time these days?

2. Did your family attend?

A. We showed up at the Activities Hall, but it was locked.

B. As many as we could fit in front of the webcam.

C. No, we’ve had a little too much together time by now.

3. What did you think of the commencement speaker?

A. I left to make myself lunch at that point.

B. She forgot to unmute her microphone.

C. The “What’s happiness if you haven’t got your health?” topic was a downer.

4. Were you happy with the ceremony, over all?

A. Virtually.

B. I guess I’m sort of happy we didn’t have to drive in from out of state.

C. I would’ve been happy with anything.

5. Were you given enough time on the virtual platform?

A. Maybe. I left to get myself a snack.

B. My video wasn’t working.

C. Yes, but my image got lost against the blown-up background of the school mascot.

6. Did your favorite faculty members “show up”?

A. I could see their set Zoom frames, but when I typed chat messages to them, they weren’t there.

B. Yes, but professors should know by now that a webcam reveals the smallest gesture.

C. No, they said they had other Zoom meetings to attend.

7. Is there any part of the ceremony you would omit?

A. The virtual processional was a bad idea.

B. The clap-hands emojis took forever.

C. I had nothing else to do that day, anyway.

8. Would you have preferred a hybrid ceremony instead of a virtual one?

A. Provided the social distancing didn’t take place in the Activities Hall.

B. Only if we could still click to download our diplomas.

C. Yes, to stop my parents screaming about not getting their money’s worth.

9. Did you post a clip of elbow bumping the chancellor on Instagram?

A. No, it required too much editing.

B. I used TikTok.

C. The university said it owned the rights and would charge me $75.

10. Did the school contact you to donate funds as a new alum?

A. It was already in my email inbox when the ceremony began.

B. Via text, FaceTime and Google Hangouts.

C. You had to click on “Donate” before downloading your diploma.

(OPTIONAL)

What do you intend to do with your degree?

A. Good question.

B. Become virtually unemployed.

C. Dad says I can stay in the spare room for a few more months.

Bio

David Galef directs the creative writing program at Montclair State University. His latest book is Brevity: A Flash Fiction Handbook, from Columbia University Press.

Read more by

 
Back to Top