What is convocation and commencement? The Latin part of college
Convocation is a word derived from Latin and means, “to call/come together”. At many universities convocations are a meeting of some guests, administration, faculty, staff, and students to mark an event in the academic year, and can happen at the beginning of the semester, at the end, in the middle, or as a graduation ceremony. The key to this is convocation just means a meeting of some sort that tends to have speeches.
For example, Miami University’s recent convocation happens before the new semester begins to celebrate the first-year students arrival at the university. This ceremony is connected to the summer reading program and this year the guest speakers were from Second City.
Commencement means the beginning of something, and in North American college circles tends to be the gathering (convocation) for graduation of students who have completed their degrees. This doesn’t make too much sense to me. Yes, having graduated is the beginning of another step in life, but so is coming for your first-year. However, that’s what we tend to use the word commencement for, but I default to graduation.
Regardless, many universities will have convocations and commencements as part of the scheduled activities in their respective academic years. For me, both are concerning since they may result in me needing to where academic regalia, and that’s more historical customs (not to be confused with, but feels like costumes) that I would be happy to let go of.
Credits: Photo by digiton; titled: IMG_4308s
Mandatory Summer Reading
Ah yes, the summer reading book experience. Summer is a time for internships, jobs, relaxation from class work, and maybe some time to holiday. However, some institutions such as universities and even businesses (J.P. Morgan for example) expect us to do summer reading. That’s particularly true for incoming first-year universities.
Here’s a brief list of some schools and their 2015 summer books:
That’s a lot of books. Why are we reading them?
First off, let me remind everyone that the internet is great for reading a variety of things, we can tailor it to our likes and dislikes (for the good or bad), and find exactly what we’re looking for. Therefore, books are not needed 😉 . Maybe, but books are in depth, organized, well edited, and thought out writing on a topic that tends to be…a much better treatises of ideas. For example, take this post as an example. I have thought about it, written it, edited it (once…maybe twice), and posted it. All of that, and I don’t need anyone to back up anything that I write. A book goes through a much deeper proofing process.
Summer reading books are meant to challenge us, and equally, bring us together at the start of the new academic year with a common ground of experience. I read this book, and you read this book. We can now start a conversation on a common topic regardless of where we came from and where we are going, and this has great potential for community building. Furthermore, Continue reading CollegeQandA asks: Why do I have a reading assignment for this book over summer for my university or college?