I covered one graduation on Sunday, the ceremony for the 2014 senior class from my high school alma mater. Let me tell you, graduations have changed since the 1980s.

But not much. To the best of my recollection, graduations have undergone two major upgrades since I wore the robe:

• Microsoft Powerpoint pretty much guarantees the program will include a professional slideshow set to music;

• The building, in this case a gymnasium, is air-conditioned.

The gym is also a lot bigger, as are most across Ohio, since a cathedral gym ceiling seemed to be a requirement for new school building fund approval several years back. Hair, on the other hand (or head), is much smaller.

But I digress. Both of these bullet points are signs of technological advancement. If we had a slideshow of any kind, I certainly don’t remember it. There may have been an overhead transparency beaming an REO Speedwagon song lyric, maybe “Roll with the changes”, on the gym ceiling, but I don’t think my graduating class was that tech savvy.

Otherwise, much remains the same. The caps and gowns bear the respective school colors. The graduation candidates file into the gym and seat themselves. Each strikes a calculated pose according to their interest in the proceedings. The class president welcomes everyone. The valedictorian offers an inspiring speech, the first one in a very long time that won’t receive a letter grade. But since it’s presented by the boy or girl voted “most likely to”, they probably didn’t need the grade anyway.

The all-school choir sings a song, one that brings tears to every eye in the house. This is followed by a song sung by the entire graduating class, regardless of musical abilities. Every senior class has a theme song lifted from the current top 40. Google tells me that this year’s big hit is American Authors’ “Best Day of My Life”. That would explain why it’s been on a radio loop since April 1.

The lights dim and hankies or sleeves come out again for the slideshow. And since everyone is already crying, the seniors present their parents with a red rose. I don’t think we did that, either, but it certainly gives the annoying newspaper photographer great photo ops.

I can’t remember what my class’s theme song was, nor which industrious student gave the inspirational speech, but I can remember it felt great to sling that tassel to the graduate side. Four Putnam County graduations down, five more to go. Roll with the changes, seniors, and your parents, too.