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Popcorn munching.* They’ve come from all over the country! ... They’ve come from all over the WORLD! ... And NOW they’ve come for ... their COMMENCEMENT! *A woman screams.* Witness 738 educated students ... 858 completed degrees! This May 18 ... do any of you DARE take on ... THE CUESTA COLLEGE 2012 GRADUATING CLASS?

And I thought The Dark Knight Rises was the most anticipated event of the year! Here comes the 2012 Cuesta graduating class. Congratulations, folks! You’ve taken that next big step, and you should be proud that you have. I have no doubt that the wonderful teachers you studied under and the wonderful friends you’ve made will continue to enrich your life. Don’t forget to invite everyone you know to your red-carpet premiere at the Gymnasium at 5 p.m. on May 18, though you’ll want to arrive by 4 p.m. for the graduate lineup. Graduates of the registered nursing program get a celebration from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. that same day, and vocational nursing program graduates get one on Thursday, May 17, at 6 p.m. at the Culinary Arts Academy in Paso Robles. The commencement ceremony and the registered nursing ceremony will both be broadcast live—and replayed—on Charter Cable 19.

You know, nothing says “summer break” quite like Handel. Perhaps in a tip of the hat to the London 2012 Olympics, the Cal Poly Choirs and Symphony will perform an event on Saturday, May 26, called “Rule Britannia”! This 8 p.m. event celebrates the works of George Fredrick Handel and Ralph Vaughan Williams, including Handel’s famous “Zadok the Priest,” a coronation anthem that’s been performed at every British coronation service since it was first played in 1727. Other works will include “Fantasia on a Theme of Thomas Tallis” and “Dona Nobis Pacem,” the latter of which takes texts from a variety of places and compiles them into a beautiful song of peace and caution against war. Tickets for the event are $13 and $15 for general admission, $12 and $14 for seniors, and $8 for students.

Once again, congrats to graduating Cougars. Mustangs, now it’s your turn! With two weeks left, you’re at the finishing line, and I believe in you. You can totally do it! Then you’ll get to enjoy your very own graduation congratulation Cougars and Mustangs column by yours truly. And that’s the best graduation present of all, right?

Right?

Intern Chris White-Sanborn was a graduate like you, once. But then he took a high school diploma to the knee. Mock him for his use of that old joke at cougarsandmustangs@newtimesslo.com.

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