The past few weeks have been the climax for so many in their education years as we have been celebrating graduations from pre-school, elementary school, middle school, high school, junior college, vocational schools and colleges/universities.
In our home it has been like many as we scramble to get some cards off to those friends or family who may be graduating, with this year being special as we spent a joyful weekend in mid-May celebrating the graduation of our oldest granddaughter Denise. While due to some health issues I did not actually attend my granddaughters’ specific graduation, I was there for the family reception, a family day that included a cookout and lots of sharing, plus I got the opportunity to sit for the family dogs Thena and Zoe.
While we know we missed more of those graduates than we wanted to, it is and should be a time of celebration, or at least it should be?
But with graduation I do have two quick bits that cause irritation this time of the season, the season of graduations.
While many may triumphantly celebrate the ‘graduations’ of so many levels, I for one may seem out of sync with many when I feel a bit of irritation when I see a full-fledged graduation – complete with caps and gowns – at so many different levels, including pre-school. Why not save those full-fledged graduations for the two most important moments in one growing of life, high school and post-high school education success?
Now I am not against the idea of a big celebration of preschoolers as well as those moving on from elementary or middle schools – because those steps forward can be huge in the growth of a person’s life and going from pre-school to elementary to middle school to high school can and will be huge steps for most kids in the area of knowledge, social interaction and independence. But with cap and gowns, seriously?
I look at the cap and gowns as something of an honor for an achievement, something to give the graduation from high school or higher a bit of distinction to look back on with great pride for the work accomplished.
When I see caps and gowns for pre-school graduations, I see parents embellishing themselves upon their kids, especially when the kids are coming out of an expensive or so called prestigious pre-school. Most pre-schools have maybe a small program for those leaving to enter elementary school and many pre-schools the parents would not have the money to embellish their kids with the idea of caps and gowns.
So, leave the big celebration, the true honor of cap and gowns to those that make the accomplishment of graduating from high school or beyond – as that is the time a parent should go all out and celebrate for more reasons than one.
I remember having a sixth-grade ceremony (we had junior high in my days and not middle school), and I remember the ceremony of finishing ninth-grade or junior high. I especially remember the junior high ceremony because just a few weeks before the end of the school year, my parents announced we were moving from our home in Nebraska to southeastern Minnesota, so it was a day of goodbyes to so many of my friends – many of which I had known since kindergarten.
After having spent just three years trying my best to fit in at the high school I attended in southeastern Minnesota, there were times I truly felt like an outsider and it did not help that I became extremely ill the week before high school graduation and was bed ridden for nearly two weeks. So sick was I that my mother was designated as the person to take charge of me taking a couple of my final exams, I love my mom but that was not fun.
Due to the illness, I was literally unable to even consider attending my high school graduation and only my Dad took to the school to attend the ceremony itself. When he came home I noticed he was just a slight irritated and as he played the tape recording he managed to make of it, I found out why.
Those students, those graduates who were unable to attend the graduation were not even acknowledged. This included several classmates who were still returning home from a state tennis tournament, as well as myself and a couple of others who were unable to attend due to circumstances beyond their true control. This crushed my Dad and of course myself as well, and to this day I will get emotional when hearing the music of pomp and circumstance because part of me still feels like I did not graduate despite having a diploma somewhere nearby here to look at and acknowledge that I did.
I have since attended the graduations of our five now adult children and as I recall only a couple of those acknowledged those graduates that were unable to attend due to school activities or situations beyond their control.
Needless to say, I have always encouraged any advancement ceremony from elementary, middle or high school to include the names of all who may be graduating, even if they may be unable to attend – it is the right thing to do.
While another season of graduations is coming to a close and the celebrations are nearly over, leaving the question of what will your graduate remember from their day of celebrating the milestone of graduation?
For me I wish them all well and hope for further successes to each and every one who made this accomplishment happen.
(Copyright@2018, CrossDove Writer – no part of this may be printed, copied or used without written permission by CrossDove Writers and Grumpy Gramps.)