2014-05-14 / Editorials

Honor the graduates

With graduation coming up in the next couple weeks, I figured it would not hurt to go over this one more time. Some things bear repeating.

Usually at graduation time, I feel led to wax eloquent with wise advice for the graduates. What I realized several years ago as I looked out over their hopeful faces was, they are just fine. It is those of us in the stands in need of help, especially when it comes to how one should act at an occasion as dignified and special as graduation. So, here goes.

Make this day special and show respect for every student who has earned the right to walk across that stage and receive a diploma. It is a milestone in each life, a stepping off point from childhood to the real world. It is an important day. Treat it as such.

Leave cell phones, beepers and other electronic devils in the car. If the thought of being separated from these things is more than one can stand, one should stay in the car with the toys. Rolling down the window will prevent heat stroke and might allow one to hear the ceremony.

Although the ceremony may well take place in a gymnasium, it is not a basketball game. Yes, those are Bobcats on the floor but one might notice the absence of sporting attire, balls, referees, cheerleaders and an opposing team.

The concession stand is not open for a reason. Rarely is one served refreshments during a ceremony. Please note the absence of BYOB on the invitations. Leave soft drinks, bottled water and other such things in the car.

Go to the bathroom before leaving home or before the ceremony begins. Should one be likely to need to access the public facilities, one should find a seat near those facilities, not smack dab in the middle of the stands.

Be quiet and stay in your seat. As a rule, one does not carry on a conversation during a ceremony. One also does not get up and down, leave and return. This is a ceremony.

Small children and babies rarely enjoy or appreciate a ceremony of any kind. It has something to do with the sitting down and being quiet part. This is a ceremony. Everyone should sit down and be quiet.

Do not embarrass the graduates. Each one of those young men and women can see much of what is happening in the stands. It takes away from their special day to see their family and friends moving around like a bunch of ants. Honor the dignity of the day and the accomplishment of each and every graduate waiting for their diploma with the same maturity they are showing.

Please do not hoot and holler. If anyone should be hooting and hollering, it should be the teachers and graduates. Please notice they are refraining from such displays and follow their lead. And remember, everyone wants to hear his or her graduate’s name called. Be considerate.

When it is all said and done, the last diploma handed out and the graduating class of 2014 presented, then offer a standing ovation for a job well done.

Good luck, graduates, and remember — there’s no place like home.

Return to top