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Date: Jun 12 2009

Themes: School

Grammar: You're vs. Your


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In most American high schools and universities, graduation is a pretty big deal. It involves a long (some would say boring) ceremony in which all the graduating students receive their diplomas in front of their friends and families. The head of the school usually makes a speech, as does one of the top students of the graduating class. Then everyone takes off these funny-looking hats and throws them in the air. Seriously!

Many schools also have a commencement speaker, an important person who offers some words of wisdom to the students before they head out into the wide, wide world. The best and biggest schools get the best and biggest speakers. For example, President Obama recently spoke at the University of Notre Dame’s graduation ceremony.

Ella graduated from college last year. Listen to her and Marni share their feelings about this rite of passage.


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2. Study - Read the dialog again to see how the vocab words are used.





Marni:  So, it is getting to be that time of the year, you’re about to graduate, aren’t you?

Ella:  Well actually last year.

Marni:  Oh, you did? I’m sorry, I was thinking it was this year. OK, so, how’s it been, you know?

Ella:  There was just so much hoopla about, you know, the cap and gown. It was just such a hassle. I mean, I did it for my family and friends, but I’m glad it’s over with.

Marni:  Well it’s a rite of passage, right? I mean it’s one of those moments in life that are pretty monumental.

Ella:  Yeah. Definitely.

Marni:  Do you still like look at your diploma…

Ella:  I can’t even find any pictures. I stare at my degree, I’m like wow, I just paid over a hundred grand for this sheet of paper.

Marni:  Well, I mean…is it because you haven’t reached that next step where you’re thriving in your career?

Ella:  It just feels like they build it up so much, but then when you’re out in the workforce and…I don’t know. It was just kind of depressing and cynical after you finished it, like, this is it? And I worked that hard? But I mean, it was a good thing. It was the last time you see your friends.

Marni:  Right. Well, it was a big moment in life and you took part in it.


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Marni asks Ella about her graduation. Ella explains that she didn’t really enjoy the ceremony. She mostly participated in it to make her friends and family happy. Even though graduation is an important rite of passage, it was a little disappointing for Ella. She worked really hard in college, but she had a hard time entering the workforce and starting her career after graduation.

Ella also mentions how expensive college was for her. Most American students have to pay for college, and it can cost a lot of money, depending on which school you go to. Many students have a hard time paying for college, or graduate with a lot of debt.

Is graduation a big deal in your country?



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Love the way that English Baby help me to improve my english…

03:19 AM Jun 29 2017 |



Iran, Islamic Republic Of

next year i finish  school,so i should go to collage

01:27 PM Jan 02 2013 |

Learner of Life


Well! Graduation is a rite of passage.

Thank you for the lesson.

Many things I have learned from this lesson.

12:29 AM Jan 24 2012 |

1 person likes this



Yes, graduation is a big deal in my country, it is one of a rite passage on every student's life, and parents are usually invited with the graduating student to attend the ceremony. Commonly the girls using the traditional dress called kebaya, and have special make up. It's definitely an unforgettable moment.   

02:56 AM Dec 08 2009 |



Yes , i think so..

That event it's important por everybody.. some people do a big party after their graduate..

09:19 PM Oct 07 2009 |

1 person likes this



Russian Federation

Hi everybody! I suppose graduation is not a big deal, maybe it is just in Russia. After a student graduates, it means that he/she has grown up, and it is time for next step  – choosing university or working. Actually we don't have high school. Children have to study at least 8 years – it is necessary. If they want to enter the university, they have to continue studing for additional two years. If you graduated just only 8 years, you can go to work or enter some simple college, but you can't enter university even if you pay for you study. And of course, we have parties in order to celebrate graduation, but not as big one as it is in America, for example. And I am not sure why – because of our mentality or  way of life or some other reasons?!

09:32 PM Jun 18 2009 |

1 person likes this


Viet Nam

Here, in Vietnam we have two meaning graduations. The first one is the high school graduation. And the second one is the college or university graduation.

The first one is so a lot of memo. We autograph book each other to keep in mind the good time we spend together. Some students cry,  while others want to do crazy thing…

04:50 AM Jun 18 2009 |

1 person likes this




I think graduation dance is pretty cool,but I didn’t want to spend money with that…

04:33 PM Jun 17 2009 |




yes,it is! Here in Brazil all the students wait for this moment! and coasts for graduation are expensive too :(

For ex,in my graduation I just enjoy the cerimony,I didn't want to spend on the party…

04:26 PM Jun 17 2009 |



Hi Ebaby!I want to learn English,but I don’t know how to learn it!can you help me!

08:35 AM Jun 17 2009 |



In the Turkey,students to enter university are required to enter exam "ÖSS" . ("ÖSS" exams by "OSYM").
After high school graduation by OSYM of 180 test questions have to enter the exam öss.
School achievement scores on the exam to receive additional scoring points is calculated by adding the OSS.
Scores of students in universities in Turkey according to the quotas placed on the university.
2 of the best universities in Turkey and the Middle East Technical University, Bogazici University

04:02 AM Jun 17 2009 |

1 person likes this




I'm looking forward that day,

it'll be really a rite of passage to me especially when it's with friends. 

12:12 AM Jun 17 2009 |




the graduating was not big deal for me. in our country in the many of universities can study without problems and something alse, if you want you can, and if don't want you can give some moneyCool

well think it's all  in your hand, if you want to graduate you can

02:27 PM Jun 16 2009 |




I think graduation is not so ig deal in Japan.

Definitely graduation ceremony is boring, but I think it is necessary as an important  point in life.

 Every ceremony is important. such as a wedding, entrance, graduation and others.

01:32 PM Jun 16 2009 |




02:41 AM Jun 16 2009 |




10:22 PM Jun 15 2009 |




Is graduation a big deal in your country?


in my opinion this question isn't in the right way … because graduation is must be a big deal to everyone in the world .. 


and anyone said that graduation is boring , bad , not good and so on .. this person who is boring , bad and not good because graduation is from a best moment of our life .. 


so if any person deny this moment he denies himself ..



05:21 PM Jun 15 2009 |

Allez! Arsène


Graduation is a unforgetful time even if it’s such a boring event. It really is a great moment when you look back your life!
For the most, it means another beginning to me. SO! MOVE forward!

08:31 AM Jun 15 2009 |




Actually graduation is not only a bid deal for me but also in my faimly. I did it for them. However I am not interesting to attend the graduation ceremony and it makes them to bummed  me. In my opinion it waste time and money , I mean in my country,we need to wear excellent cloths , not only cloths bag, shoes, using make up  etc,  to attending the ceremony. I prefer relax at my house than attending ceremony.SmileHowever my only brother had attend his ceremony and my parents were very happied for that.Surprised

03:06 AM Jun 15 2009 |

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