It's graduation season again, have you had the pleasure of attending one? I have-- Actually I should say, one down, two to go.
The first had my beautiful brainiac niece all decked out in her blue and gold robe with ropes and tassels and metals and sashes galore for high school graduation. She rocked it and sat proudly in the very front row in the "Top 12" section of the class. She's a valedictorian (yes, I'm bragging) but it didn't go to her head one bit-- Her three other smart sisters saw to that.
This was the first graduation I'd ever been to where not only the school's Principal but also the Superintendent of the district lectured the audience of about a thousand people on "proper graduation etiquette". They made it crystal clear that the ceremony would stop dead in its tracks if there was any hooting, hollering, cheering, whistling or clapping at the announcement of a student's name-- "Not one peep" were the exact words the Principal bellowed into the microphone.
I immediately reverted to my teenage years and felt scolded. I sheepishly sat straight up in my chair so as not to look like the kind of person who would "irreparably damage the solemnness of the occasion". Gawd forbid.
As I started biting my nails, something I had not done since I was 12 years old, I wondered in my very quiet mind, afraid to move a muscle for fear of making noise and being called out-- sure an intense spotlight would shine brightly in my deer in the headlights eyes, but soon felt a bit peeved for being talked down to.
I assumed the audience, full of proud loved ones of soon to be high school graduates, wouldn't in any way try to disrupt the ceremony. This was a big deal! And of course we'd all act like respectable adults. Right?
Apparently not so much because as they saying goes-- "There's one in very crowd." only in this case there were about 14.
In fairness, it takes a long time for 357 names to be announced, diplomas handed out, and the obligatory posed photo shaking hands with the Principal, so folks got a little restless. But about half way through, the rowdiness started.
First it was the single, very loud, hand clapping after a student's name. The poor kid stopped frozen as if his idiot parent would get him bounced into detention one last time. It caused the ceremony to stop for a full 15 seconds before the diploma was handed over. The announcer calling names over the loud speaker let us know he meant business.
Then a dad, after his beautiful blond baby girl's name was announced, stood in the center of the auditorium and did a wild silent dance that closely resembled the funky chicken. The audience roared, the blond was visibly not happy, and the announcer deadpanned "Was that really necessary?"
Three more students in a row received standing ovations from their large, happy families, all sitting together on the right side of the auditorium, each one trying to out noise the other and cause a bigger scene than the last.
Those students were embarrassed and clearly mortified. Each were dressed in suits and ties grinning from ear to ear-- until their family turned the occasion into a free-for-all. Those three names took a full 10 minutes to get past.
I wondered (silently of course) if this sort of thing happened at really important ceremonies-- Like the swearing in of a President or Supreme Court Justice. Does some one lecture the crowd like they are first graders only to have some idiot make the event all about them rather then the person (s) being honored?
It all seemed pretty ridiculous to me, the rowdie parents, I mean. Weren't they the ones that raised their children to be respectful? Their kids were some of the best dressed of the day and seemed to take it all very seriously. Perhaps if the bull horn was sounded by the parents of the student wearing ratty flip flops or even the three kids who chose to go barefoot to their graduation, I'd understand the carefree attitude.
Oh well, to each his own. I'm sure the students will look back and remember dad-- with his beer belly hanging below his "Help, I've dropped the tv remote and can't reach it" tee shirt and recall what a gigantic fool he made of himself bellowing "That's my boy, now go get a job!".
Two more ceremonies are coming up. The next is my niece's graduation from college and on her way to Veterinarian School and Godson who (and I use this term loosely) "graduates" from eight grade to move on to high school. Eighth grade "graduation" make no sense to me, but that's another post.
The one thing I know for sure-- I guarantee you I will be too busy sobbing with pride to shout anything idiotic to embarrass our graduates.
Have you been to a graduation lately?
Welcome to www.TheFiftyFactor.com - Joanna Jenkins