Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Graduation Day

Congratulations to all 2015 graduates! Yes, it's Tidbit Tuesday here at Stitchesthrutime, but I'm discussing that really big event. Whether it’s your own, or your child’s, or your grandchild’s, graduation is one of the most memorable events of a person’s life. Not surprising, since it represents the completion of many years of study, an accomplishment to be proud of, a new beginning.

This past Saturday I went to my oldest grandson’s high school graduation. I don’t know where the years went—or how I got so old, but that's another topic. While graduations are a traditional thing, I noticed they're a bit different today. I enjoyed the ceremony like any proud grandmother, but I was jolted by how things have changed.

If memory serves, my graduation, held on the football field, was such a solemn occasion, no one would have thought of disrupting the ceremony. I think I held my breath during the entire time.

Saturday's ceremony was held inside, and we had to be seated two hours in advance. The moderator reminded us four times not to holler out when our graduate was called. If we did, security would haul us off. The first name (of about 500) was called, followed by whoops and hollers. This continued as each name was called. No one was hauled out. Are rules made just to be ignored?

When I graduated, only about ten percent of the class were honor graduates. At least one-third of Saturday’s graduating class were honor graduates. My guess is students haven’t really gotten smarter.

To this day, I remember parts of the valedictorian’s speech at my graduation. It covered the challenges we faced in a troubled world. That young man went straight into the Naval Academy and had a distinguished career as a naval officer.

I'm sure the valedictorian at my grandson’s graduation will have a successful future as well, but his speech was more entertaining than enlightening. Maybe that's what the world wants now, a speech that covers all the usual liberal causes, gay marriage, global warming, etc. Opposing viewpoints were noticeably absent from all of the speeches. No invocation. No mention of God.

Yes, I was surprised at how things have changed. But there are two things that remain the same. The accomplishment of the student and his/her parents is a testament to twelve years of study, tests, teachers, friends, sports, arts—the transformation of a little boy or girl into a knowledgeable, capable adult. Also, like the turning point in a novel, graduation is a life-changing event.

Every young person is faced with grown-up decisions after graduation, and those decisions will mark the path for the rest of his/her life. Let’s pray for them all. It may be a cliché, but they are our future.

The fondest memory I have of my own graduation day is my mother, sitting at the end of the bench after everyone had left, weeping. Of her six children, I was the youngest, the last to leave the nest.

Please share a favorite memory of your graduation.

Comment any day through May 31st for a chance to win Sins of the Mothers by Caryl McAdoo.


  1. I've never had a graduation day or attended one. Obviously celebrated in other ways around our part of the world.

    1. Hi Mary

      Different countries have different customs. Thanks for pointing that out.

  2. Lovely, sad, and oh, so true, Elaine. Great post, and one I ponder myself.

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Caroline. I've become more aware of how different the culture is today than when I was young...and not for the better.

  3. Don't remember much about my graduation. I know I was glad school was forever over. Hated school. I am hearing impaired and have been all my life since 3 months old along with a speech problem. So, I had to deal with bullying but it was not as bad as the kids are getting these days. I had friends who stand by me and were there for me. Most of those who bullied me became friends. By the time high school rolled around, the bullying stopped.

  4. I remember being very emotional graduation night. I was not ready to graduate. I loved my times in high school and didn't want things to change. Friends would go separate ways, different choices of colleges would take place....nothing would be as it was and that saddened me.

  5. The big thing about my graduation day was thinking about my first big job the next day. I would be a Ward Clerk on the third floor of the local hospital. It helped me mature, and I was more ready for entering college.

  6. I remember my graduation day like it was yesterday, even though it was almost 50 years ago. We had it on the football field, you could have heard a pin drop except when names were called and everyone politely clapped. It was a very solemn and serious occasion. Now it is just like you said. No dignity or decorum.
    Janet E.