Wednesday, June 3, 2009

How Much Pomp, Is Too Much?

I attended my nephews high school graduation. There was a lot of hootin' and hollerin' going on . . . mainly from our section in the stands. But we had good reason, this kid had literally worked his tail off to get to graduation. And, his mother was on that tail to make sure he made it to graduation. So, there was a lot to celebrate. As we watched them enter the field marching to that familiar Pomp and Circumstance tune, it was like a collective sigh from every parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, friend, and teacher breathed out over that senior class.

And then, the talks began and to be honest they were boring. Truly, boring.

The two student speakers were nervous, and it showed, but that was expected.

The principal spoke on two ideas: relationships and having an edge. Her topic on relationships actually had an additional 3 R's, of which I cannot tell you because, well, I stopped listening to her. (That's just a whole different kind of irritation. When you say your going to speak on Relationships and then come up with additional sub-topics that also start with the letter R, for the love of Pete! Why not just say you've got 4 R's and be done with it!? Ugh!!!) When she moved on to point 2: having an edge, I started to listen again. But zoned out when she started reading off an endless list about people and places that would help these graduates gain the upper hand and have an edge in life. (Again, another level of irritant. When you list more than four or five things, it then becomes a shopping list, hello! A very boring shopping list.) Then she made the most ridiculous comment about how students in China have a higher rate of test scores than students in the United States, "but they have over a billion people, so really how fair is that?" she said. I thought to myself, "Really, is that the comment you want to make, really?"

Isn't there a rule about school administrators being qualified to make public speeches? There should be!

Then a representative of the School Board spoke about -- honestly, I can't tell you what he spoke about. But, I can tell you that he spoke too long and it wasn't at all interesting.

So, here's my take on school administrators speaking at high school graduations . . . if your not a good public speaker, than do us all a favor and pass on the Pomp and leave us to enjoy the Circumstances.

1 comment:

Ipo said...

I make it a rule not to attend graduation ceremonies unless it is someone very, very, very close to me. And when I go, I make a point to have something to distract me because I don't and just won't listen to the speakers. They drive me crazy and bore me to death for the most part.

I have to say, though, when my sister graduated from Law school last month, they had a female lawyer from Nigeria, and she gave an awesome, short speech. I listened to the whole thing...surprising. But I can't tell you what anyone else said...I guess once in a while you get lucky at a graduation ceremony.