Sunday, May 10, 2009

What happened to graduation?

I went to my nephew's graduation Saturday. He's the first of the "next generation" to finish college. Of my three sisters and me, there are 5 living direct descendants. And my nephew -- The Big Sister's son -- is the first to graduate college.

Something about the graduation bothered me. Folks were acting like they were at a sporting event. Or a professional wrestling match.

I usually have to watch large men oiled down and rolling around on canvas with each other to hear such hooping and hollering from the stands. Either that, or a graduation ceremony.

They'd call a name, and a group of people would stand up and yell and scream and call out names or words or phrases or hold up signs or ...

Like I said, it was like a wresting match.

I wonder why people act that way.

It's not because they're proud. I'll yell if my football team scores a touchdown, because I'm happy, not because I'm proud.

Of my children, I'm proud. But I'm going to act like someone with some raising. Graduation is a serious event. It's the end of a phase of life. It's the beginning of a new phase of life.

I mean, would these idiot parents and family members scream and holler at, say, a wedding? Would I hear "You go, girl!" as the preacher pronounces the couple married? Is someone's aunt going to yell at her nephew "Yeah, gonna get you some tonight, boy" as the groom kisses the bride?

And, no, college graduation isn't the same thing as marriage. I wouldn't presume to say it is. But I'm thinking there are more marriage ceremonies than college graduation ceremonies. So, it's not as common.

Regardless, I'd think some people would recognize that it's a special occasion. And not like Wrestlemania.

On the other hand, I imagine some parents and family are excited about their graduate. I'm thinking they're surprised the kid actually graduated. I suspect they're happy that Junior isn't going to be knocking over a gas station or that Pumpkin won't be trading sex for crack that night.

Because, based on how some folks act at graduation, being a thief or crack whore might be simply taking up the family business.

Me? I'm proud of my nephew. And I suspect that he'll go a helluva lot farther in life than most of those who were making asses of themselves.

In fairness, not because those folks were making asses of themselves. But because my nephew is a helluva guy.

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