Thursday, June 29, 2006

Little Victories

Forgive me, for I am about to shift into the old lady "back in my day" mode. You may want to skip this one, as I'm climbing up on my soapbox now. Where to begin, hmmm...

Maybe you've received that email about "back in the day." You know, "Back in the day, we drank water from a dirty garden hose and lived to tell." or "Back in the day, Little League held tryouts and not everyone made the team," and many things about how great it was to be a kid back in the 50's, 60's, 70's--basically before the advent of video games and home computers. Well, here is my "back in the day" gripe for the day.

"Back in the day, you had one graduation ceremony and you worked 12 long years to get there. "

Granted, I’m not a mom so I have no frame of reference, but it seems to me that to big a deal is being made over scholastic achievement. Maybe that’s not the right way to say it, but here’s what I mean. Last week, a manager had to take the day off to go to her niece’s 5th grade graduation. 5th Grade! Then in three years, there’ll be an 8th grade graduation. Then a 12th grade graduation. What happened to just one graduation after 12 long years of work? What happened to the expectation, to the goal, the light at the end of the tunnel, keeping your eyes on the prize? I can kind of understand the 8th grade graduation because it marks the end of lower grades and the beginning of high school. But 5th grade? Sure, they’re going into middle school, but so what?
Well, today I heard the one that just floored me. A manager has to attend a ceremony for her son’s “first grade completion certificate.” Give me a break! A ceremony because the kid made it through his first year of all-day school? And it’s not just line ‘em up and give out certificates. Oh no, there will be singing. Her son is singing “Time of your life” by Green Day, which I’m sure will be adorable because this kid is too cute with his blonde hair and big blue eyes. But seriously? Time of your life??? He’s 6!!!
And don't get me started on those Nursery School/ Kindergarten graduations. Congratulations!! You've mastered napping and graham cracker consumption!

Does all this pomp and circumstance make the big high school graduation anti-climactic? Shouldn't you have to work for something? I mean, really work for it, not just show up every day. Isn't it enough just knowing that you made it to the next grade? Is the ceremony really necessary. The passing grades on your report card should be enough certification to hold you over for the big one. The caps and gowns should be reserved for something really noteworthy.

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