A New York City college graduate can say that he received his diploma on a crowded, delayed subway ride, not at the traditional ceremony he had intended to attend.
Jericho Marco Alcantara was en route to his commencement ceremony at the Hunter-Bellevue School of Nursing when a relatively quick commute turned into a three hour affair.
“I was on track to be at my commencement at 9:15 a.m., but the delays altogether ended up taking almost three hours,” Mr Alcantara told New York Magazine. “After 45 minutes, I knew I was already late, but I kept hoping that I’d at least make it to walking the stage.”
It was not to be. Family, friends, and some strangers seized the opportunity to make memories, though, and an impromptu ceremony was held on the E train for Mr Alcantara to honour his hard-earned nursing degree.
A video taken by a fellow passenger shows Mr Alcantara receiving his “diploma” (it was on a cell phone) from a friend. Someone else played “Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)” by Green Day in the background.
“If you want a copy of my diploma, turn on your AirDrop,” Mr Alcantara joked in the video.
Mr Alcantara said that the ceremony sort of just happened, they didn’t really think about it much before going through with it.
“Everyone was getting antsy and impatient, so I figured I’d lighten the mood by thanking everyone for coming out,” he said. “That led to applause, and the rest just followed.”
The recent graduate isn’t alone in suffering on the city’s subway. Delays are increasingly frequent these days, with more than 70,000 logged each month now compared to about 28,000 a month in 2012. State and city leaders, while saying that they are focusing on infrastructure, have done little to fix the underlying issues — and New Yorkers have been fuming about it.