Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Graduation Ceremony That Wasn't

It used to be
that there were only two graduation ceremonies:

                  high school and college.

Now, there are graduation ceremonies for preschool,
   6th grade, 8th grade, dance class, art class, chess club, 
tying your shoes, and wiping one's ass! 

My youngest son recently graduated from the 6th grade.

When I was in the sixth grade, 
we had a party in the school cafeteria,
and there was a D.J.,
and it was cool.

As for my son's graduation ceremony,
   there seemed to be a lot of confusion over the details.

Coat and tie? or, not?

Relatives invited?  or, not? 

Short and sweet? or, not?

It ended up being LONG AND BORING, 
   which is a dangerous situation.  

My family members and I share the unfortunate trait of laughing during inappropriate times.  

That is not to say that our laughing is . . . inappropriate.  

It began when 
each child walked in ONE AT A TIME -
     photos and words BOLDLY displayed on the GIANT MONITOR
at the front of the room.

Most had horrified looks on their faces, that seemed to say:

 "This is the LONGEST WALK E-VER!"


             TAKE OFF MY TIE ? ? ? "

My Mom mumbled over her shoulder. . . 
something about feeling like she was caught in the middle of a Saturday Night Live Skit.

I find myself in those situations a lot.  

Anyways . . . . . .

The graduation ceremony was more of an AWARDS ceremony.

The teachers would stand at the podium,
     giving a short (sometimes, NOT) description of the award,
then call up EACH INDIVIDUAL,
ONE - AT - A - TIME,
and the parents would clap, after

Then, the parents would take photos,
   after EVERY AWARD.

At one point, my Dad leaned over and said,

   "We have been here an hour, and they just finished page one."

There were three more pages in the program. 

Fortunately, when it was time for the orchestra and band awards,
     things began to move along more efficiently.

Which was no surprise to my parents (both music teachers).

Conductors, after all, are accustomed to putting on programs
   in an efficient manner.  

   "Please stand where you are when I call out your name, and parents,
          please hold your applause until I have finished."


After ALL THE AWARDS had been handed out for reading, math, art, band, orchestra,
     spelling, science, physical fitness, wiping one's ass, and teacher's pets. . . . . .

               I assumed it was time for the actual "graduation " part of the ceremony.

                          I ASSUMED WRONG.   

     "Ladies and Gentlemen, this ends our ceremony.  Please pick up your
          child's report cards and graduation certificate in the lobby,
        as you are exiting the building."

Then, we watched the "now 7th graders"  march out of the gym.

When my son walked by, his jacket and tie were off,
     and his long sleeves were rolled up above his elbows.

So much for capturing him in a photo, wearing something other than a sports t-shirt.  

Although, I can't say as I blame him.

My son, who is an excellent athlete, good student, and a great kid, did not receive any awards.

Not EVEN for wiping his ass.  

Afterward, he said,

     "See!  I TOLD you. You did not need to come."

But, I wasn't there for the awards ceremony.

I was there to watch my son graduate.

Apparently, I could have just met him in the lobby, two hours later.   

     Oh well.

He did look awfully handsome in his jacket and tie : )



  1. Everybody is a STAR in Fairfax County Leslie! Everyone gets a prize...a trophy...a blue ribbon! :)

  2. They do have graduation for everything these days, don't they? That's too funny that they didn't really "graduate" at their graduation ceremony. By the way, like your new profile pic!