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Overheard At The Lion Shrine: Graduation Edition

Graduation photos. That phrase in and of itself evokes all manner of thoughts and emotions to any given senior on a college campus, and those on the brink of leaving Happy Valley are no exception. Being a photographer, I understand the typical rotation: Jump shots at Old Main, climbing (and falling) out of the globe, giving the middle finger to your respective college building, trying to fit in the entire stone THE PENNSYLVANIA STATE UNIVERSITY marquee at the stadium. There are even some hotspots downtown that people like to frequent while donning their cap and gown. And in the midst of all of these landmarks, there is, of course, the Lion Shrine. Now we all know the familiar words “The stately Nittany Lion, the symbol of our best!” That being the case, I’d easily argue that the terrible line on graduation weekend leading to a photo op with “the symbol of our best” plays host to some of the best quotes on campus. And the worst sunburns.

I’ve written exactly one article for Onward State in my time here, choosing instead to hang back in the dingy photo department and make the site look pretty among all the old curmudgeons that work here. The first one was filled with sass, angst and bad humor, and my 2 1/2 hours spent watching endless hair adjustments, sorority poses and poorly angled selfies has once again pulled me from behind the camera to share my thoughts (or, rather, your thoughts). Without further ado, I present Overheard at the Lion Shrine: Graduation Edition.

Bro fanning himself with his gown: “So if you’re a girl, is there like a 5 inch heel rule for graduation? You have to add an inch for every year you’re here?”

Girl watching a couple kiss on top of the Shrine: “Oh, oh jeez. Gross. Come on guys.”

Guy shielding himself from the sun with his gown: “Our class gift should have been a second shrine.”

Guy clearly struggling from the night before: “If I knew it would take this long I would have taken longer to be hungover.”

Guy passive aggressively yelling above the crowd: “WE SHOULD ALL HAVE A GAMEPLAN FOR WHAT PHOTOS WE’RE GONNA TAKE SHOULDN’T WE?”

*Girl and mom finally reaching the first stone step leading to the Shrine*
Mom: 
I reached a step!
Girl: Uh, if anything I should reach the step first *Pushes her mom off*

Bro getting visibly more distraught: “I think one of us should pretend we have heat stroke so we can move up in line.”

Girl in tank, on a conversation with her parents: “I was trying to explain to them that I actually like girls, but it was just weird for them.”

Guy in bright gold tie, upon seeing a young girl doing a cartwheel: “Ugh, I hate kids that are talented. (Yelling) ONE DAY YOU’RE GONNA GROW UP AND YOUR HAMSTRINGS WON’T WORK ANYMORE!”

Guy with his girlfriend: “They should have a countdown clock and a shepherds rod to pull people out that take too long.”

Bro talking about his commencement plans: “I’m gonna sneak a bottle of champagne onstage and make it rain on the dean!”

Woman with video camera interviewing people: “So you guys are known as the ‘Class That Saw It All'”
Girl: “…Do people really call us that?”

Inquisitive guy: “How many germs do you think are on the Lion?”

Girl behind me tapping me on the shoulder“Hey! Duck down to my level and see what I see. NOTHING. Absolutely nothing.” (I’m 6′ 5″ and she’s around 5′ 2″)
*Kid behind us starts singing “Do You See What I See”*

*Group of moms planning their impending trip to Cafe* (I can’t remember what they said exactly, but it had to do with who could outdrink who. #PSUMoms)

Bro behind me, finally reaching his limit: “I’M TAPPING OUT. YOU WIN LINE. YOU WIN.”

Guy taking a break on one of the rocks: “I feel like I’m on Pride Rock on the savanna of the pride lands.”
Annoyed girl: “Yeah well Simba needs to be f****** born already.”

*Group ahead of us, upon finally reaching the Shrine*
Boy, reflecting on the journey: 
“We’re all friends! Well. For now. It’s been a long two hours.”

Passive aggressive girl, as a particularly large and time-consuming group of girls is leaving: “RAISE YOUR HAND IF YOU THINK THEY WE’RE EFFICIENT!”

Congratulations to the Class of 2015!

About the Author

Sean Gregory

I take photos of things, and write the occasional article for the #folks.

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