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June 19, 2008


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and? you definitely have a point. someone brought a cow bell to my graduation. not for me. but she didn't like it either.


I am convinced I have hearing loss due to the fog horns at my brother's graduation ceremony. What upset me is the school puts up with the foghorns all ceremony long yet the school is holding the diploma of my brothers' friends who as they were walking back to their seats after walking (not disturbing the flow of graduates or the cermony) hugged their best friends. It's THEIR day ....let them hug their friends.

Kalynne Pudner

Yes, you have a point, and a sharp one at that. I recognize the reference to "cultural differences" and believe I've noted the same. This may be justifiable, as it may be in that culture a much bigger deal to graduate or even promote from 8th grade. Which may explain why the air horn, balloon, shrill whistle and general hoopla people seem unable to comprehend the preliminary instructions to "PLEASE hold your applause until the end."

Melanie @ Mel, A Dramatic Mommy

I agree. At my son's kindergarten program, hubby said the video camera was ready to go. I got all set, had the kid in close up and the memory card was full after 2 minutes. I missed the whole thing.

I had my camera but it doesn't zoom nearly as well as the camcorder. But, I didn't race to the front and block everyone else. Of course we all think our kid is the most special but there's a lot to be said for common courtesy.


The cultural differences explain a lot, and in some families, this may be the first kid to graduateb; however, it doesn't explain why some think the rules/requests/common courtesy apply to them.

I think you are spot-on.


um, that would be GRADUATE...

Reluctant Blogger

I think you very definitely have a point.

Here in the UK we have graduation ceremonies when someone finishes their undergraduate degree (at 21 or 22) and there is a party etc but you know what we Brits are like, we all stay calm and civilised (we do get a bit drunk!).

Recently, maybe in the past 10 years, there has been a tendency at some schools to have a sort of leaving ceremony at the end of high school ie at 18. There is a little ceremony and a sort of event (what you would call a prom I suppose) where the teenagers dress up. My daughter went to that. I went to the ceremony but again there was no cheering!

But we do tend to follow the US way so I guess it's only a matter of time. But the thought of having a graduation event at every stage of education seems ridiculous to me - crazy! Surely children should want to do well for themselves?

My children (well, 3 of the 4) are very bright but I tend to keep quiet about that and when they do well, I let them know privately that I am VERY proud but I tend to play it down in public because of course a lot of their friends have not done as well and anyway it seems rather pompous to me.

Reluctant Blogger

Oh and thanks for linking me in your post by the way. Typical of me to write something really dismal on my blog on the day that you do so, isn't it? I will write something more cheerful tomorrow! No time today.

Sue @ My Party of 6

You are right! My kids are young, so we had several First Communions this spring. At my daughter's, we were told no photographs during the ceremony and there was a professional photographer there to capture each kid's "moment". Of course, there was one family who ignored this and got RIGHT UP ON THE ALTAR and at one point nearly knocked the priest over trying to take a picture of their Little Darling. Can't wait to see them in 6 years at the 8th grade promotion ceremony.


Not a party pooper. I agree completely.
It’s 5th grade people.
Perhaps Jenn, this is the first child in the family to make it through 5th grade?
Did those folks have a grandma sitting in a rocker on top of the family van?

Manic Mommy

Air horns? Haven't seen (heard) that one yet. Please!

I'm of the opinion that ceremonializing everything diminishes the really important ones (8th grade = big deal).


This phenomenon happened between when I graduated and now...I just saw it for the first time at my niece's grad. which was held IN A CHURCH. Blowhorns...? In a church. Wow, I am OLD.

Mary Alice

Maybe it's regional. Our outdoor graduation tent was filled with sedate clapping....we were ALL John Corbett's family.

ccr in MA

Well, I'm totally with you, but I doubt the other side would even notice our quiet, polite arguments. Sigh.


I have loathing of these events for many reasons...but I've come to learn that the loudest, most obnoxious people at graduations are those who have nothing else going on to celebrate. Seriously, the air horns? Belong to families watching their first member get a high school diploma. Generally you'd never pick out the valedictorian's family from the crowd. It's ironic, no?

An yes, I am of the sedate golf clapping tradition, myself.


I hear you Reluctant Blogger, my husband is not from this country and he finds ALL these ceremonies a little ridiculous - sort of like enthusiastically congratulating someone for doing something you expect most folks to do. He thinks college graduation is the only one that really means you accomplished something worthy of celebrating. Sort of makes me think of the Millenials (60 Minutes, 11/07, http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/11/08/60minutes/main3475200.shtml ) re: "They blame things like Mr. Rogers and Sesame Street for teaching us that you are "special" even though you may not have done anything. This leads this group to have a sense of entitlement but not doing the work required to get there."


You have a point, definitely.
I tend to think that we have too many ceremonies and celebrations. What happens when kids get out on their own and realize there isn't a party thrown for every single success in their life?

mike golch

no such thing as being overly enthusistic when it comes to family. That's my story!
Hugs and God's blessings all around.


I dunno, isn't high school and college graduation enough celebrating?

Smalltown Mom

I agree with you on the noisemakers. We were irritated by the selfishly loud folks sitting next to us at Frank's graduation.

A graduation is a milestone and should be celebrated. But a promotion ceremony? That's a little much.


Next Tuesday is our one, and only event. Guitar boy graduates from grade 8 to high school.
We are monitoring your blog daily for advice and ideas.


Your post reminded me of a post that I wrote last year when the youngest was promoting from 5th to middle school.

I wanted to slug the family sitting very closely to us last year who insisted on not only using a the blow horn when their kid graduated, but also when their kid's best friends did as well.

Our last name is at the end of the alphabet, unfortunately, we had to endure a lot.

standing still

Leave the hooting to the football and hockey games. Allow us some peace as we bask in the "I cannot believe he made it" moments.


I think high school, college and med school graduations are worth a big deal. I think the kindergarden, pre-k, and so on 'promotions' are a bit silly and they tend to make the before mentioned big ones seem not so important.
I do think you need to to respect all regardless of the circumstances--great post ;)


Too many graduations. One from high school and one from college. All the rest is silly and programs children to believe that their every move in life will be worthy of a foghorn. Little do they know!


You have a point. Yes, you do. Sounds like it was frustrating.

Congrats on surviving!


This is why I avoid these types of events, at all costs. Obnoxious is obnoxious, no matter how it's positioned. Annoying. Hang in there.

The Girl Next Door

OH I am so with you. Where I came from we graduated high school and college. Nothing else. Not kindergarten, not 8th grade. I will say that my kids' 8th grade public school "promotion" was important to them b/c they were going to a different high school than all their friends and even the kids going on to "public school" were all scattering b/c in our county they have a "choice" of 1 of 3 high schools. so it was a nice chance for them to realize that they were indeed "moving on" to different places in their lives. But the 5th grade river boat cruise to celebrate their 5th grade promotion? That got me more than a LITTLE annoyed....


It's funny how different people are - isn't it. I do not like weddings or funerals or graduations or any sort of ceremony - really. I am already dreading my daughters' graduation and they don't graduate for 2 years. It's really because they go to a huge high school and it is known to be very looooooong graduation - ugh!

Have a good evening and thanks for your support today - you are a very good friend. Kellan

Jen on the Edge

Any ceremony before the high school commencement is ridiculous. Air horns and whatnot are tacky and rude. That said, I see nothing wrong with a quick cheer and some clapping when your grad crosses the stage.

phd in yogurtry

The golden rule should rule at graduations as well. Rude is apt for what you described. I've sat in ceremonies and wished for polite observances, save the applause for the end.

manager mom

Well, I think that we are WAY overceremonied to begin with, so I absolutely think that someone hollering in a vein-popping manner for a fifth grade promotion ceremony is patently ridiculous, never mind rude. I don't know. I think we make so many "milestones' nowadays, the REAL ones have lost their specialness.


I think common courtesy is a lost art in all aspects of our lives nowadays -a lot of people out there act like they,their time,their plans are the only thing(ones) that matter. Whatever happened to good ol' fashioned manners?


they have gotten out of control, graduations, promotions, what have you.


Yes, you have a perfectly pointed point, and I agree.

Don Mills Diva

Ugg - you have a great point!
I don't understand why a "promotion" from one grade to another need be celebrated at all. I don't mean to be a curmudgeon but it kinda dilutes the importance of real accomplishments when we celebrate EVERY little thing, not to mention the unrealistic expectations we build for our children!

The Mom Bomb

I hear ya. You know what annoys me, too? The "In Memorium" portion of the Oscars where the crowd whoops it up for their favorite dead celebrity, then there's stone silence for everyone else. Tacky.


You have a point and next time I will leave my airhorn at home.

Just kidding. I don't own an airhorn.

I am the rule follower also not even clapping if they told us to hold our applause until the end even though about 75% of the people have disobeyed. Rules, even the sometimes stupid ones, exist for a reason.




There were actually people arresting in the US, Virginia I think, for this very thing last week!! Someone obviously thinks you are right!!!

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