Time heals all wounds, I guess
I just got back from the Iron Ring ceremony, and let me say, I was disappointed. My sister-in-law's friends and classmates who I tortured and belittled as their TA two years ago were no longer afraid of me. Nor were they still mad at me. In fact, some of them were pleased to see me. And not even in the "ha ha, you said I'd never pass, I sure showed you" kind of way - they were genuine in their pleasantness.
I don't get it. I thought I had done a better job scarring them for life. They certainly hated me at the time.
I was more scarred than them, for, at the reception afterwards, I ran into one of my superiors at work, which, since I'm not good at sucking up, is not a good thing. His daughter is one of my sister-in-law's friends, and I was left chatting with him while the two girls had a gab-fest.
As for the ceremony itself, which I'll remind you is not to be shared with non-obligated engineers, I'll just say that it's a lot easier to understand the ceremony when you attend as an audience member rather than as a graduating engineer. They give you a book with which to follow along, whereas the candidates are thrown in cold turkey.
My only other observation is that my old department was poorly represented. Only one prof and a couple of grad students I knew attended, and all left before the reception so I couldn't catch up with them. Lazy bastards.