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Monday, December 11, 2023

Transitions — Graduation civility


Recently our younger daughter graduated from college.  It was a beautiful day, the speaker was inspiring and there was plenty of pomp and circumstance–overall a classy event.  It thus came as a surprise to witness the behavior of some of the parents and friends.

Before the conferring of diplomas, the audience was asked to hold their applause until the end.  Which was hard to do, even the six in our party cheered some, however, as the ceremony progressed it became obvious that the cheers of several groups got increasingly raucous.

I brought my concern up with a college administrator.  He concurred that disruptive displays made by families and friends of graduates at Commencement Convocations has caused, “consternation” at his and many other institutions. “Even pausing to wait for quiet prior to reading the next name has been tried and sadly, more often than not the effect is to encourage louder and longer displays, as individuals quickly realize they are being given power over the pacing of the ceremony.”

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Thus, it was with interest that I read about a recent high school graduation in Ohio.  When the guests of a popular football player engaged in “excessive cheering”, the new graduate was denied his diploma until he completed twenty hours of community service.  Hundreds of people posted comments. Even those who disagreed with the punishment felt that something should be done.

The immature display of the “loudest” gets bragging rights, should be reserved for sporting events, not for graduations. As the girls on Full House would say, “How rude!”

Graduation is a step towards being a responsible contributing adult to society.  Too bad that “so-called” responsible adults who raised the graduates, forgot to add Civility to the list of accomplishments—because teaching civility is an obligation of the family.

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Barbara Blomquist
Barbara Blomquist
Barbara Blomquist is a Naperville resident, wife, mother, quilter, and screenwriter. Contact her at BWBLomquist@aol.com.


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