It is graduation season again. I hate graduation season. It is an excuse for administrators, without any public speaking talent whasoever, to assemble a captive audience and bore us all to tears with motivational and inspirational speechifying.
It wouldn't be so bad if it were like it was when I was a kid and you had highschool graduations and college graduations. Some places had kindergarten graduation but where I was we didn't even have kindergarten. Now kids graduate from everything. Pre-school, kindergarten, gradeschool, junior high, highschool. If things don't change they are going to start holding ceremonies, complete with pointless awards and boring speeches, for each grade. I know it.
I don't have a graduation for one of mine this year. Which is some sort of minor miracle. Next week I have to attend one for a friend's kid, but as it is a highschool graduation I will try to be gracious about the whole thing and hold my peanut gallery comments down to a dull roar during the speech. If they try to show me a video, all bets are off, however. I already went to one of those this year for my husband's nephew and it was painful. No one should be forced to applaud badly edited slide-shows with pop music playing in the background.
I did my time as a parent at an 8th grade graduation last year. I deserve a break after suffering through that tribute to overblown sentimentality. You will agree with me when you are done reading this.
Schuyler attended a charter school that has campuses in several counties so his 8th grade graduation took place in an auditorium at Sonoma State University. There were a lot of people there.
The woman who gave the speech for the graduation was a Lifetime Television for Women victim/poster child. They always are. Her speech was about having a dream and following through on your dream even in the face of adversity. She gave examples that mostly involved people who came from poverty stricken circumstances. I'm sure she thought it was very moving.
Okay, so this is the kind of schlock that you tend to hear at these things regardless of speaker or age of the graduates. But given that we are talking about a group of 8th graders whose parents are definitely in a higher income bracket this speech was particularly irrelevant to the audience and the 8th graders in question.
My eyeballs would have rolled right out of their sockets and bounced down the steps toward the stage if such a thing were physically possible.
The speech was bad enough, but this woman had gone to the horrifying business meeting school of speeches and accompanied her message with a Power Point presentation. Nothing is improved with a Power Point presentation.
Just when I think she is done, that the madness is about to end, she announces that she is going to show us a video. The video was about a man who finished the Iron Man event who also had CP. Well, great, kudos to the guy. I might even watch this at home. But this video has nothing to do with or any relevance whatsoever to a bunch of 14 year olds entering the 9th grade next year.
I slumped down in my seat muttering and my husband gave me a warning look. I perked up when, alas, the video would not play on the screen. She called for volunteers from the audience to help her "triumph against this adversity with teamwork". She used those exact words.
Some of you reading know that I could fix this. I can figure out this kind of glitch in my sleep. But I didn't want to. It was much more amusing for me to watch the guys -- and they were all guys, no women, because there is something about a penis that makes guys think think they can fix shit even if they have no clue where to begin -- go down there and do things like try to fix it by resizing the the window. Besides, I didn't want to watch the video. Her speech was schmaltz enough for me.
While I was busy being thoroughly amused by the creative ways to fail to fix the problem the volunteers were discovering, my child Pierce pipes up in that voice that children use that carries to the moon, "My Mom can fix it! She went to college for computers. She can fix anything!"
The sound of every neck turning and heads craning to look in my general direction was loud.
So guess what I did? I mean, you can't disappoint your child. Even if he is a little shit for blowing your cover and you didn't want to watch the damn inspirational video anyway.
The children are under strict instructions this season to keep their mouths shut about any talent mom has that could be utilized by the people throwing the graduation. Hopefully this year will not be as schlocky as last year, but I doubt it.