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How big a deal is high school commencement?

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by MTM, May 30, 2013.

  1. MTM

    MTM Well-Known Member

    People at one of our high schools are going crazy trying to round up extra tickets to commencement ceremonies. Students were give four tickets with an option to get four more.

    Parents are on eBay and Facebook trying to find more and some people are trying to scalp their extras.

    All so Uncle Joe and Aunt Flo and cousin Mo can join mom and dad and siblings and all six grandparents at the ceremony (lots of steps).

    When I graduated, my parents were there and one of my brothers. No grandparents, no cousins, no friends except those in my class.

    I never would have thought of going to a cousin's ceremony.

    High school was a pit stop on the way to college. I didn't see graduating as a significant accomplishment.

    Why do some people make such a big deal out of high school graduation?
  2. schiezainc

    schiezainc Well-Known Member

    Because it's a kid's last real "milestone" event that parents can participate in.
    As your high school years are coming to an end, so too is your time as an adolescent and high school graduation (while an overlong, bloated, meaningless ceremony) is the last time parents really get to participate in their child's major life events until their wedding and/or their kid's have children of their own.
    It's kind of a big deal in that sense so I understand why parents get excited about it but I would NEVER attend a graduation that I 1.) wasn't graduating in or 2.) wasn't being paid to attend as a photographer/reporter/what have you.
    Every graduation seems the exact same and I'm sick to death of people telling an arena full of kids that they're "the best class ever" and all "really special" when we all know that's BS.
  3. Beef03

    Beef03 Active Member

    They're certainly all rather contrived, but I can understand them being a big deal. I just spent my vacation to drive back home to go to my brother's HS Grad -- he's 12 years younger. It's an opportunity to congratulate the kid, wish him well, etc. It's a major stage of their life that is over, on to the next, etc. Besides, will likely be relying on my little brother for employment one day, I want to stay in his good graces. Kid is wicked smart. Would I go to a cousin's? nope. Not unless I was going to the party afterwards.

    My commencement ceremony 13 years ago was terrible. I was one of the few sober guys in the class. All I remember from the ceremony was the guest speaker. For whatever reason they decided it would be a good idea to get the French teacher who had just retired to do it because we were her last class. And by we, I mean the 12 kids in my class of 46 who actually finished French. I stopped taking French in Grade 7. Didn't help that she went on for 45 minutes, with her back turned to us and did half the speech in French. I stayed entertained by watching my dad go in and out of consciousness. But even in my class, no one really cared about the ceremony and all of the other BS, it was all about the "Safe Grad" party afterwards where everyone got bombed.
  4. JackReacher

    JackReacher Well-Known Member

    No way the kids get excited for it anymore, right? I mean, they have a graduation ceremony after damn near every grade now, it seems.

    My HS graduation was outside on the football field, so there were no tickets. People just showed up. In college, it was in the basketball arena and I think everyone got four tickets. It was packed and miserable.
  5. Matt1735

    Matt1735 Well-Known Member

    My high school graduation got moved.

    Jacksonville was big into trying to lure amateur sporting events and landed some US Gymnastics competition, which caused them to have to move all of the scheduled graduation ceremonies from the Coliseum.

    The county found a way to accomodate all of its schools, but the outlying schools were told they could do ceremonies three weeks early or two weeks late.

    Our own basketball gym was too small (class size was 550) so at most each kid would have been able to have 1 or 2 guests attend and there were no other viable options.... except....

    We held our graduation at the local kennel club. Yes, the dog track.

    I shook the principal's hand coming around the backstretch and got my diploma at the betting window.
  6. TheSportsPredictor

    TheSportsPredictor Well-Known Member

    It's a party. Have fun. Get over yourself.
  7. Brian

    Brian Well-Known Member

    It really depends on life circumstances, doesn't it? For most of us, high school in a suburban area is just a stepping stone in our life. For somebody who comes from Harper High School in Chicago or a remote area in the mountains of West Virginia, it may have taken a lot of dedication and overcoming many obstacles to get that piece of paper. Some people are the first person in their family to get one. Sometimes a graduation is meaningful because of someone in the family who didn't live long enough to see it. Maybe that person overcame some major physical or mental obstacle to get it.

    I don't have enough info about every person to judge them for being excited about a graduation ceremony. Obviously they have a reason that it's a big deal to them.
  8. 93Devil

    93Devil Well-Known Member

    If you are only getting four or six tickets for an entire family, it's a big deal for the parents and grandparents.

    If you have unlimited tickets, like graduating at a football field or local college basketball arena, then it is lessened.

    But as soon as you have to start telling people they cannot go, then problems arise. But it is a bigger deal for parents than students.
  9. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    I agree. At least a HS graduation is legit. There are enough preschool, kindergarten, elementary school and middle school graduations these days that it is taking away from the legitimate ones... My wife and I both joke that our kids (7 and 5) have been through more graduation ceremonies than we have and we both have Masters Degrees. :D
  10. Shoeless Joe

    Shoeless Joe Active Member

    It is a big deal. I guess depending on where you are located and your attachment to family, it could be lessened. Here, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins are thought of no differently than parents or siblings. I understand that isn't likely true for many urbanites, but I bet for many throughout the South and Midwestern rural areas, this is true. Neither case is 100 percent true, but many times it will be. I have gone to graduations for cousins and also just for close family friends. I've never known any of our schools to require tickets. If you show up, they'll find a space for you, even if it's standing room.

    I remember once the local school system decided to have all four graduations on the same night at the same time. You would have thought they dropped an atomic bomb from the shitstorm of complaints because people had to pick and choose. They never have done it since.
  11. Here me roar

    Here me roar Guest

    Carl Hiaasen wishes he had written that line :D
  12. JayFarrar

    JayFarrar Well-Known Member

    I went to her niece's a couple, three weeks back.

    Class of around 60, town of 2,500. I'd guess at least a 1,000 people were there.

    The niece had both sets of grandparents, parents, a sister, my GF, me, another aunt, her husband, a grand uncle, a grant aunt, her husband and some cousins, who also had kids in the same age range as the graduate. So it was around 16 people.

    I might be missing a couple though. I can't seem to keep track of all the cousins.

    That didn't seem all that odd to me. Small town and all.

    What gobsmacked was her graduation haul. I know I graduated from high school 25 years ago and I got, maybe, a couple hundred bucks, some luggage and assorted gifts.

    She had a little more than $3,500 in cash and checks stuffed into the various graduation cards. Plus another grand's worth of gifts and assorted merchandise.
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