The student’s name gets called. He or she proudly arises and strides across the stage. This is a moment the student and the student’s family have been waiting for. Thirteen long years are culminating in that short journey across the stage and a handshake.
Of course the families want to cheer.
But, of course again, the dilemma is that if families go nuts when their child’s name is called, either the name-reader has to pause until they are done, before he can move on to the next name. This will prolong an already interminable ritual until the suicide point.
What is more, if a family cheers loud and long for a grad, but the next grad has quieter, reserved family members, are we suddenly in a competition for who can have the loudest cheering section?
Yes, the dilemmas are myriad when it comes to modern graduation ceremonies. Which is why we can quickly come to the conclusion that they are obsolete and useless. That’s right. They serve no real purpose anymore. Think about it. Each student is there for a total of at least three hours, all so that they can have about fifteen seconds or less of attention. Does this really honor the student? Nope. Clearly, graduation ceremonies are not about the students.
Furthermore, the graduation ceremonies are clearly not for the families either. They are not allowed to cheer until the very end. But they want to show their beloved child they love them and support them. Having families add their voices to a tumultuous noise is lame and does not satisfy their desire to honor their student.
Finally we come to what graduation ceremonies are all about. They are about tradition being followed and schools wasting time and money. Surely there is a better way to do this.
Here is my suggestion. Have two or three different groups, divided up by last name. Do a diploma awarding ceremony for each group, and focus only on awarding the diplomas. Forget the speeches that nobody listens to anyway. Thus, in these smaller groups, more flexibility in time is available and parents can go nuts for a few long seconds to show their support for their child.
So let’s send this dinosaur of a graduation ceremony into the tar pits of obsolete history, shall we?