Thursday, July 23, 2015

Class of 2015

Two days of celebrations, with perfectly timed ceremonies so that there were no time conflicts to see the people of each hour. After all their hard work and dedication, it all came to being photographed in their black gowns and moments of joy. This is the graduating class of 2015.

You deserve an incredible photo, after all

Day One: May 25, 2015

It was a Monday morning, not too hot and not too cold. There may have been no sun, but it was still adequately warm. This began the day of the twins' graduation. Although their ceremonies were not at the same time, they were on the same day. First off, we have Shellby's graduation. Attending were also her family, our aunt Edith, and her best friend Katrina. Convocation was held at the Chan Centre for Performing Arts, which is absolutely stunning:


The only other time I remember being here was for a performance when I was in a choir a long time back when I was young... Oh, memories. But this isn't about me, it's about Shellby, who I manage to see making her way to her seat:

Look at the happy graduate

When everyone was seated, we began the whole shebang with the national anthem, followed by the speech by the president of the university:

Taking photos while he speaks words of wisdom

This was followed by an amazing speech from this fellow, who wasn't valedictorian, but something along that prestige:

Very Inspiring

First were the graduates from the Masters program, which is known as Philosophy while I was confused as to why they were part of the Science department. The longest portion of the convocation were the name calling, which seemed to go on forever. I do wish that they announced the departments the group they were calling, as it went from surnames beginning in Z to all of a sudden into A - confusing, eh?

But I did manage to capture one person making her way across the stage:

Walk of glory

It was amusing to see people's reaction after a name, including a band member tooting his horn when his friend came on stage. After two hours of inspiration and amazement, the graduates threw their hats in relief (I think because it's finally over!)

Guests were welcome to head outside for the festivities, with cake and coffee provided for everyone to enjoy:

Look at the crowd, and that flag game is on point

And what graduation would be complete without a some (several) photo opportunities? Shellby's friend Leanne was also there, who also graduated this year. I think her graduation was a few days before hers, but the attention was on the one graduate. Let's take a look, shall we:

Katrina, Leanne, Shellby: the many faces of graduation

Edith & Shellby: how lovely

Majority of the people took photos by the rose garden, which is absolutely stunning. Folks of all ages were welcomed, from the young to old, and including the furriest of them all:

So fluffy and happy!

Katrina asked if she could pet the owner's dog - except, the woman holding the dog was not the owner. She got to pet it, but I thought that was funny. Steven finally came over, and that meant more photos to take:

Look at that family portrait

Siblings on their best behaviour

Shellby has a lot of friends, many that I don't know, but the few that I do were wonderful surprises. Carolyn is Shellby's friend from high school, and she and her brother Jordan attended the same Tennis school Shellby, Steven, and I went back in the summer many ages ago. I'm even amazed that Jordan could still recognize me as I go through this new look of mine. But let's look at this cute ensemble:

Graduates with their brothers

Another friend was Eric, who attended the same elementary school as Shellby and myself. He stopped by to say hello, as he works at school, but he is also our coworker. Caught in the moment, I joined them for their photo:

Eric, Shellby, and myself

My auntie Shirley wanted to wrap things up as she had plans for lunch, but before we could, Shellby wanted to take photos with her friends that I did not know. Within the process of taking those photos, we noticed a crowd of people taking photos by a wall. Curious to know, we looked deeper into in and noticed it was a flower wall, designed as the UBC crest.

When there were no more crowds, it was time:

Rock on!

Don't mind me, just being strangled by Steven

We went for lunch at the Keg, which I didn't even know was opened for lunch. Not sure if this applies to all restaurants, but this was located in downtown, which is stunning inside. The lunch menu is quite different from dinner, but just as good. There were still a lot of options, and I did not know what to get. So auntie Shirley decided to get an appetizer first:

Deep fried shrimp

Lightly battered, these little guys were gone before the bread could be finished (and that's usually impossible). From lunch combos to steaks, I decided to try something I've never gotten from the Keg: salad. I got a chicken salad, and this is what it looked like:


This was an excellent dish, the chicken was just spicy, and the ratio of beans to lettuce to tortilla chips had that melody of texture that made it much more pleasurable. I didn't take a photo of everyone's dish, but I did get Steven's, which were tuna tacos (to start things off):

Would you look at that?

The other dish I was eying on the menu was the lobster mac and cheese. Although I didn't want to say it, I was wondering if anyone wanted to get it possibly as another appetizer? Thankfully, everyone wanted to try this dish! And let me show you the dish:

One word: wow

I never though lobster would be good with mac and cheese, but this is quite a dish. It may look small, but it's packed with flavour in every bite!

Sweet & Silly

Just as we were wrapping the meal, our server handed over a dessert, complimentary of the Keg. And if you haven't had Billy Miner's Pie, it's to die for:

A mountain of chocolate and caramel heaven

And who else should take a photo with this delectable confectionery other than the graduate - or should I say, graduates:

Left: Adorable with the cake; Right: Leanne and Shellby, the graduates

Once we finished that cake (it was a group effort!), we had a few group photos taken:

Myself, Leanne, Shellby, Katrina, Edith, and Steven

This time, with the parents

Just one more for a good solid amount of photos

Now, we had to move on to the next graduation, which was Mina's turn. We weren't sure if we had enough time to make it on time, but when we go there, we saw the graduates exiting the centre. Fortunately, we got to see her, calling her from above:

Happy Mina is happy

Look at her, waving to her loyal subjects

Mina had to take some obligatory photos in the garden with her family, but while waiting for her, Steven and I decided to take some candid shots of Shellby, looking out into the view. Here is one of them:

Look at that prestige

Did I mention that Shellby saved her gown the whole time? Since you have to return the gown by at least, the end of the day, she held onto it so she and Mina could take some awesome graduation photos. Let's take a gander at them:

Which one is which? They look so similar

Aren't they adorable?

Mina had her friends around, and took an enormous amount of photos together. They thought of some creative poses, which were really amusing to see them form from one to another. One friend who also graduated with her was her original dorm roommate. Isn't it just the best coincidence to see everyone graduate at the same time?

Jumping to catch your hats that you threw in the air

To finalize things just before they were to return their gowns, I managed to capture the two families of the twins:

What an ensemble

Followed them up the stairs to return their gowns, while I waited with Steven and our cousin Benz, who is Mina's brother. And although the attention was all given in their black gowns, I couldn't help myself to capture these two heading their way back in their white dresses:

Coming back to us, and all of a sudden, Mina notices that I'm taking photographs...

Which naturally meant for an excitement pose!

Just to wrap things up, the cousins decided to take a photo of ourselves in the most difficult pose of them all: the jump pose. Not knowing when to actually jump, we had to take this shot a few times. Although this wasn't the final shot, I really do enjoy this photo of us:

Attempt 37 (not really, but you get the idea)

And thus concluded the day of the twins' graduation, which was really inspiring to see the adventure these two went on five years ago. And although our grandma couldn't attend the convocation, we managed to take a shot with her at home:

Just a normal Monday, you know

Day Two: May 27, 2015

Round two meant a whole new experience. This time, it was for my friends. Not only was it for Sciences, but also Business. First off, we start Science. I met Gordon a little over a year, and he has been one of the sweetest people I've met. I haven't seen him in a while, so I made sure that I booked the day off just to see him graduate.

I brought my friend Jesmine along, who I met back in August. She met Gordon at my party, and he invited her as well (see, so sweet). She recently moved to Texas for school, but is spending her summer back home before she gets back into the grind. Not only did she look awesome, but she got herself some bangs:

Look at them rose-coloured shades

She told me they were clip-ons, which are very realistic; she had me fooled. We didn't know where Gordon was in the crowd, so we decided to take more photos of ourselves:

That view, of people in the background?

When we did find Gordon, he was making conversation with his other guests, who I believe were his old managers from his previous work place. His brother noticed that we were taking photos, and was kind enough to offer taking a photo for us. I put it into that multi-filter function, and this was one of them:

Rainbow haze

So when he was finally free, we went over to the flagpole and took photos of his excitement:

One happy camper

And then we tried to capture him throwing his hat in the air moment, which took a few times, since none of us knew how to operate our cameras on time. Here are my attempts:

First try: full of energy, no hat; Second try, much better

In addition to his previous managers, he also brought along his friends from various places... I'm not exactly sure how he knows them, but they are quite the bunch. There were a lot of photos taken in the rose garden, but none were quite like the flowers that we saw right outside the Chan Centre. He took a bunch of them with his friends, including myself with Jesmine:

Hugs all around

Afterwards, we met at the Alumni Centre, a place where graduates can use the facilities for meetings and conferences; professional stuff like that. Inside it's all wood, which was absolutely lovely. In addition to the interior were the accompanying piano, played by UBC students, complimentary coffee and tea, and overdosing amount of sweets. I did not manage to take a photo of the place itself due to being awestruck by its beauty, but I did some explorations for myself when I waited for my friends and cousins to meet up with them. By this point, Gordon and his friends (including Jesmine) went out for lunch, while I looked at the view from the Alumni Centre:

Natural environment for the UBC students

First off, I met up with my friend Ming who was going between classes. She wanted lunch, so I sat with her and we talked about guilty pleasures. That, I will not talk about, but I'll say that it was certainly interesting.

When she left, I headed back to the Chan Centre and encountered my old high school friend Mitchell, who was there for his girlfriend Jamie, graduating out of Sauder. But before we get to the girl, we had to take a photo of us first:

Class of 2009, anyone?

Look who wants to graduate, again

I assume that she and her family were finished with taking photos by the rose garden, because we were now heading to the Alumni Centre (once again). Passing by the Centre, it's completely dead. A few students are walking by, but barely anyone was taking photos in the area, which gave us an opportunity to do so:

Who's this model?

Since the School of Business was located close by, there had to be the much needed pose by the sign photo. Jamie took about 3-4 poses, but this one amongst all of them has to be the best:

Cheery little Business student

This may have been the second time that I entered the Alumni Centre, but while I was making my way to the cupcakes (my weakness!), I saw one of Shellby's friend, Chrisanne, who also graduated that day. That is truly amazing, I didn't even know she was in Sauder herself. But anyways, this is different from the Science graduation, look at these little cupcakes:

Adorable! And the couple are cute too d";

Kiss the cupcake now

Another difference from the Science setting of the Alumni Centre were the newspaper print, which were offered to each student - each individuals'  names were in the paper. Also, they had a photo booth with a social media interaction (it was really impressive). Jamie and Mitchell took a bunch of photos behind the wall, and I just snap shot for them.

Just when they were about to finish, Shellby stopped by and came to retrieve her champagne. Another advantage to graduate from UBC (aside from the Alumni Centre and free perks) is that you get a coupon for free champagne. Such benefits to be graduating in 2015 and later on. Later on, Shellby managed to bump into Chrisanne and congratulated her, thus leading to taking photos by the pond.

That pretty much sums up the whole graduation process, a lot of friends and family to see and nabbing on some treats that I have to work off (my belly needs to be flat). Despite having a long day from all of the celebration, I look forward to graduating, whenever that may be. So until then, let's hold on to these memories until the next best thing comes around. I only have three more photos to share with you:


I don't know why many people chose not to take a photo by the clock tower, it's quite and iconic sign of UBC - perhaps no student wants to go back into the library once they have graduated. And though none of the graduates have an Instagram account, I couldn't help myself from taking a photo of this unique poster:

I wonder how many people posted their graduation photos online (all of them)

I am grateful to have these people in my life, and am proud of the achievement they've made. I hope incredible things happen to them, that the best has yet to come, and they continue to explore what the world has to offer. But, since this is my blog, I shall sign off with one photo:

Top Gun

My graduation better be like this pose: looking forward to the future.

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