This time last year I was writing about graduations for son #2 and son #3. Life events are meant to be celebrated, whether it is a yearly birthday or the less frequent graduation or wedding. I think it's important to mark these occasions and in some small way make them memorable. When the boys were young there was always a birthday cake, often memorable in itself due to my less than champion cake making talents (I always tried to make a cake in whatever shape they liked. One year son #1 wanted a house. I got it to stand up, but had to prop it against the wall to prevent a total collapse of the second floor.).
Anyway.....back to graduations. Graduations are a time to celebrate our children's accomplishments. Sometimes the accomplishment is academic, sometimes it is an accomplishment of endurance. College and high school take perseverance to complete. Often there are obstacles to overcome. Those can be academic obstacles; social obstacles; or even physical obstacles. It's a busy time of life and keeping your eye on the finish line despite a myriad of distractions takes discipline. And small missteps, mistakes or wrong decisions can steer us off the path to completion. So it is no wonder that at a graduation ceremony, families want to cheer, shout and generally acknowledge these accomplishments. Truth be told, we would probably like to stand on the chair and jump up and down. I truly understand this emotion. So, that is precisely why I really think that Cincinnati got it wrong. Last week some graduates were denied their diplomas because their families cheered too loud and too long when the student's names were called. Now they have to perform community service before they are awarded their diplomas. You read that right....the families shouted too much and the graduates are essentially liable for this.
Come on Cincinnati!! You can do better that this. I understand that the cheering can get out of hand preventing others from hearing their student's names or go on too long dragging out the ceremony but you can do better than this! Why not eliminate some of the boring speeches and just allot more time to the part that everyone is there for? Trust me on this....no one gets some life time truth from a graduation speech. I've heard many and don't remember any! Or why not handle it with good humor and raise some money at the same time? If you cheer too long or too loud, you have to put $5 or $10 or whatever in a hat. The money can be used for a scholarship the next year. Go with it. That's why we are at the graduation - to celebrate an accomplishment. That's why we endure the heat, rain, crowds, boring speeches - to celebrate. We are marking a life's accomplishment. We are making memories. We WANT to shout. Quite frankly, for college graduations, we have paid dearly to shout. It's really not too much to ask.