Graduation Observations Part Two

My previous graduation post discussed something I’ve noticed over the years from going to graduations or ceremonies celebrating one of my children moving from one grade to the next. I had one ceremony left to attend after that post which was yesterday and found that this group of parents were not too wierd.

The awards ceremony for the entire sixth grade was held in the school gym. You have to get to these things early for a seat because there is a high possibility that some parents have camped out and others arrived hours in advance to get all the good seats. I got there thirty minutes early and the bleachers appeared to be full. Upon a closer look I could see spaces between people indicating there might be room for me on the bleacher. Choosing a seat is like buying a house. With limited seating you are committing to sit next to this person through the entire program. I found a guy wearing some kind of military attire and decided he was a safe bet as a neighbor. The spot next to him was the easiest to access and he even moved a little to make room for me on the bleacher. He let me know he couldn’t move too far to the left because his wife and child would be sitting there. After I sat down a pretty lady sat in the space to my right so overall I felt I was in good company and had made a good choice.

Then the wild card: this military guy’s wife and three year old child showed up. He and I were sitting on the top bleacher at the top of the stairs so they were coming straight up to us. Mom looked like she hated life but the little girl looked thrilled to be there. They sat down and seemed to be fine.

We did the Pledge of Allegiance and then the first teacher stood up and welcomed all the visitors. Her last statement before she began announcing the award recipients was “please hold your applause until all of the students have received their awards”. She announced the first student and everyone immediately applauded. The military dude looked me as if he had was totally unaware there were so many deaf people in this school.  I shrugged my shoulders and said “no short term memory”. We seemed to be on the same page.

As the ceremony began the three year old kicked into…well…three year old mode. Talking, playing with dad, switching which lap she sat in, and digging in mom’s purse for treats. Mom gave her her cell phone to play games and that worked until the phone rang. I thought mom would turn it off but no…”hello”. She had to talk. Mom’s talking on the phone and little girl is fidgeting. But the mounting tension was erased when the kid with the rooster hair walked across the floor to receive his Citizenship award. As he walked in front of us the three year old caught a glimpse of him, stopped what she was doing, and laughed out loud. Then me and the dad laughed out loud. I know that sounds rude but the kid couldn’t hear us. And besides, it was just a Citizenship award.

By the way, I found out that the Citizenship award is given to students that made E’s in conduct the whole year. That would explain why everyone in my daughter’s third grade classroom got one and not so many in the entire sixth grade at my son’s school. There’s a little less evil in the mind of a third grader. It’s just a stupid award. You should not receive a reward for doing what you are supposed to do. Sorry.

Now the summer begins. I work out of my house so that means retraining my children to not run around the house making noise and busting in my office unannounced with their mouth already running while I’m on the phone with clients.

I think I will create some summer awards to hand out to my children when they go back to school.

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