It came as a bit of a surprise to me when I was in Iceland that the graduation ceremonies for students were at the beginning of the fall semester. That is to say, students who finished everything in June got to graduate in late August. I think this was to allow the teachers time to do all the grading, and of course give everyone a proper summer vacation.
Here in Berkeley, they do it the other way around. I received an email yesterday telling me all about the commencement ceremony that I am supposed to be a part of. It takes place May 19th I think. That sounds great, of course, but the fact of the matter is I would have to write 20 pages a week for the next 10 weeks to actually be done by May 19th. No matter, says the University of California, Berkeley. You can file your dissertation after you graduate.
So now, during those days when I should be frantically writing, I can instead spend the time ordering my cap and gown and inviting up family to the ceremony.
Here is then a case where Icelanders are actually more practical and reasonable.