Webster’s Dictionary defines "graduation ceremony" as a springtime ordeal in which you’re crowded onto uncomfortable bleacher seats in an overheated gymnasium or stadium and forced to listen to a series of speakers drone on about Webster’s Dictionary’s definition of "character" or "courage" or "cliché."
In fact, graduation speakers these days so often acknowledge that commencement addresses will be little noted nor long remembered that the meta "I hate commencement speeches" speech is actually a bit of a cliché itself.
Which is why we offer you our Graduation Bingo Card to help you pass the time at any commencement you’re forced to attend this spring. Instead of checking your Twitter feed or playing Bejeweled on your phone while waiting for a loved one to get her diploma, just keep track of how many graduation ceremony chestnuts you spot amid all the pomp and circumstance.
Feel free to jump up and shout "Bingo!" if you manage to check off a row or column. Or just blow your air horn.
See the bingo card below, or print out this PDF and take it with you to commencement.
And if you want a closer look at the categories, here's the list that appears in our bingo game with the (sorta) cliches you might hear at commencement.
When you hear speakers quote ...
Kim Jong Un
You see graduates ...
Cartwheeling on the stage
Tripping on the stage
With decorated mortar boards
With acceptance letters from eight Ivy League schools
With a job
Parents are crying because their child ...
Is all grown up
Is the first in the family to graduate from college
Is moving out of town
Is moving back home
Now wants to go to graduate school — to be an artist
In the stands you see ...
Grandparents trying to take a selfie
Students batting a beach ball around
People doing the wave
Parents blowing off air horns
People waiting until the end to applaud
Advice for new graduates ...
“Follow your passion.”
“Don’t be afraid to fail.”
“Pretend your degree isn’t in Renaissance Studies.”