Wednesday, May 22, 2013

A short rant

I try not to rant to much here on my blog, and instead bring you informed and thoughtful posts that relate to the Tao. I'm afraid this is one exception, I will keep it short, though.

I was asked yesterday if I would be attending my nephew's graduation. This seems like a simple question, what could be wrong with that? The problem is, my nephew is 5 years old and "graduating" from pre-school. I was baffled. I innocently asked, "What was the criteria for them to graduate?" The answer was a simple, "Nothing, he's 5, what do you expect?"

I am all for celebrating accomplishments, achievements, etc. But I cannot imagine sending my kid through this ceremony where they had all the typical graduation ceremony fare. I didn't go, but I've seen pictures. They were all dressed up, lined up and received a diploma, giving their teacher a hug. Perhaps someone can tell me the positives of something like this. My nephew did not have to accomplish anything in particular, did not have to be able prove what he learned. Not a single student failed to "graduate." Some of these parents had parties, gave gifts and did all the typical graduation things.

Call me cynical, but I can't help but think that celebrations like this might be contributing to the bloated sense of entitlement I see running rampant in younger generations. Webster defines graduation as, "the award or acceptance of an academic degree or diploma" and I just don't think this qualifies. What must my nephew think of the fact that his dad recently graduated college?

Okay, I'm done. Sorry for those who love these things, it just bothers me. Now that I have a little one on the way, I wonder how I will handle this type of thing.


  1. My first reaction here was to growl disgustedly...but then I realized that would be really uncivilized. :-)

    Celebrations such as these bother me in so many ways. It's a milestone, sure, but who is the celebration for, is what I want to know? The kid (at that age) doesn't know any different; s/he just does what the teacher says are we celebrating the fact that a kid can follow directions? Uhhh...

    Or are the ceremonies a chance for the parents to peacock themselves and their children? Or is it the school's chance to pretend their systems don't suck?

    Cripes, do I sound bitter? :-)

  2. I think they should have a sense of entitlement. They are little kids. They didn't crash the party, they were invited. I don't think celebrating life needs a reason. They need all the love and encouragement and esteem building they can get before we throw them into the cold harsh waters of reality. I wish I had done better with my kids. the rat PS I really hate word verification. I am old and blind.

  3. Celebrating mediocrity!
    I've been thinking about this since 1st reading it & yes, it's always bugged me to celebrate nothing. Same as not keeping score at sporting events or giving everyone a blue ribbon.

    Then I remembered some events in my own life... 1st, we did have a kindergarten graduation of sorts (no hats) but we performed skits and songs. More of an open house type of thing.
    2nd, was even sillier (I thought so at the time) - my Jr High graduation. Hats, gowns, walking the stage, etc. We even had a prop (which I recently found photos from)! Funny enough, it was the only prop I went to.
    And lastly, the fact that my sister struggled her way through school so when she did graduate HS, it was a huge deal - which she earned. The years of her being bribed, begged, and paid to get through made me question at times the use of my own consistent good grades though. When asked, I was told that I didn't need the boost to do well. (ok, that was bitter!) In turn, I wonder what's the point of hard work when it doesn't get you ahead. (having work issues at the moment, too, so extra bitter!)

    I'm all for parties and celebrations, but celebrate an actual accomplishment.