Friday, May 30, 2008

Happy Graduation! (If They Let You Go Through the Ceremony, That Is)

As I said earlier, the schools in my district are graduating this week, so I collected a bunch of graduation-related stores, from the sublime to the ridiculous:
  • A Nashville high school senior wasn't allowed to walk with his class because he rode his horse to school on his last day of classes, and the principal took offense.

  • In both Gatesville (near Waco) and Bloomer, Wisconsin, newly-minted Marines have not been allowed to wear their uniforms to graduation.

    A nice rant on the latter story can be found here. An excerpt:
    Here's the bottom line. This young man has already moved beyond Bloomer High School - he's a Marine. In other words, he's put childish things behind him and has moved to the next phase of his life. That phase involves wearing a uniform.

    I can't seriously imagine that allowing Private Lingen to accept his diploma while wearing his dress blues would create a disruption or detract from the nature of the event. To the contrary, I think it would be inspirational.

  • A Grapevine senior who has the highest GPA in the history of her school was not named the valedictorian of her class. How does that work? She's graduating a year early, and the rules specifically call for the valedictorian to be the person with the highest GPA over four years. The rule was meant to discourage late-transferring students to knock longtimers out of their slots, but this is a case of a "one size fits all" rule that, well, doesn't fit. (And it's not just for pride here; attaining the rank of valedictorian yields a one-year college scholarship from the state.)

  • Graduates go through a variety of emotions on their special day, but few can match those at Fort Campbell High School in Kentucky; it's located on a military base, and nearly every student has a parent who has been deployed overseas during their time in school.

  • Finally, on a happier note: A Michigan senior has had perfect attendance all the way since kindergarten, and her father is rewarding her with a new car, just as he'd promised all those years ago.
As I said earlier, I'll salute my own upcoming graduates in the morning.

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