GRADUATION CEREMONIES used to be reserved for high school and college. Now, they start having graduation events after kindergarten. Having lived through years of awards nights and graduation ceremonies with my three children, I can remember the endless hours and rituals before your own child finally walks across the stage. Are graduating ceremonies too long?
I would not have missed any of my children’s graduation ceremonies for anything. One daughter was her high school valedictorian, and later graduated from an Ivy League school. Those graduations were pretty memorable for me, but maybe not so much for other parents.
Another daughter’s high school graduation was kind of a bummer. The girl who preceded her as they marched in alphabetical order was abruptly informed that no diploma awaited her. Image the humiliation in front of all those people! We have a video of the whole tragedy in living color. This poor girl weeping as she walks away empty handed , thinking she hasn’t graduated,. My own daughter crying in sympathy. as she accepts her own diploma.
Later, it was found to be a mistake. Through some bureaucratic error., the unfortunate girl’s diploma had been lost in the shuffle . She really did graduate, but by then, half the town thought she didn’t. She left soon after that. never to return. Who can blame her?
I know someone who went to great expense and effort to attend his grandchild’s graduation. Turned out they had FIVE , yes five valedictorians, all of whom made long, serious speeches while the audience nodded their heads, trying to stay awake.
I am not good at faking interest in long boring speeches. Coping mechanisms include wiggling my toes, studying someone’s strange attire, going over grocery lists, mentally remodeling my kitchen, and sucking on hard candy. .
Sometimes, an honored keynote speaker gives a really great speech. That helps a lot. But the warm glow doesn’t really last long enough to get you through the tedium of hundreds of students in matching caps and gowns slowly making their way toward the stage.
Like weddings and funerals, graduation ceremonies are a necessary part of life. I just wish they didn’t have to drag on forever.