Wednesday, June 06, 2007

The Way it Ought to Be ...

This is the time of year where I attend several graduation open houses and often multiple graduation ceremonies as well. Last night the wife and I attended my 3rd graduation ceremony of the year. I know that is not a lot, but hey, how many did you attend? Anyway, last night's ceremony was how all graduations should be in my opinion, and since this is my blog my opinion is the one that counts the most. (Except for the wife, of course. I have been married over 31 years, I know there are wrong answers to certain questions.)

You see most graduation ceremonies are conducted as if they are very solemn, sometimes even somber, events. The truth is nearly everyone involved is feeling anything but solemn and somber. They are feeling giddy, happy, relieved, joyous, proud and maybe even surprised, but not somber. Sometimes the education community takes itself way too seriously. I know of what I speak, I was a public school teacher for 5 years and have coached in public schools for 12 or 13 years. At graduation events someone in a suit, or fancy dress, always tells everyone that this is joyous event and even a celebration, but then warns everyone to act with decorum and reservation. I don't know about you, but for me joy and decorum don't go together and neither do celebration and acting reserved.

Last night's graduation event got it right. It was awesome! Not only were we not cautioned to be reserved, but we were encouraged to cheer for the graduates. I loved it. The graduates all reacted with great joy as they received their diplomas and they cheered themselves as well. It was so cool.

This graduation was for 8 special needs students. They had completed requirements to move on to another program or were now moving on into society. Before you dismiss this as not a real graduation, I caution you to ask any of those parents if this was real? To look at the faces of the graduates and tell them it wasn't real. To see how they clung to their diplomas and say they really don't count. Frankly I think "regular" graduations could learn a lot from last night, even the administrators sitting on the platform got into it.

So how about it, will you join me in trying to get the schools everywhere to lighten up and enjoy the victory? I will say it again, last night is how graduations ought to be. By the way, great job Ben, we are all proud of you and some of those cheers, whistles and loud applause was from your Pastors and their wives. We were not reserved, we showed no decorum and I am proud of us.

Here's to enjoying the victories and living life as if we are glad to be here.


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