Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Commence With the Overachieving

Tomorrow my eldest son, The Monster, graduates from Kindergarten. I'd be lying if I said that I didn't think this was a bit silly. I might feel bad about saying it, but he doesn't even seem to be that worked up about it. To him, it's just another day.

So what is this whole ceremony thing all about? Congratulations, you can color inside the lines, write your first and last name, and add and subtract simple digits. Way to go dude!

All sarcasm aside, I was very unimpressed with my son's kindergarten experience. There was never a stitch of homework and part of their curriculum seemed to be at least 45 minutes of Disney movies per day. He was routinely picked on by a set of twins who will probably end up in a correctional facility later in life. He learned a few new choice cuss words that would make a sailor blush.

There were some high points. He was super excited to show off his math skills, which I'll admit he took to like a fish to water. He was an escort at the Fall Festival and he was the crown bearer for Homecoming. He loved his music teacher and he explained to me how to correctly place books back on the shelf as taught to him by the librarian.

I feel like them having a ceremony for Kindergartners to move to First grade is along the lines of not keeping score in sports or giving everyone a trophy even though they didn't win. It takes the specialness out of achievement. The end of year awards ceremonies where you get certificates for things you accomplished during the year should be enough. Why do the Kindergartners need to graduate along with the Sixth graders and the Seniors? I don't remember having a graduation ceremony until I was a Senior. Then it's special. Then it's an accomplishment. You survived 13 years of homework, peer pressure, clique discrimination, mean teachers, getting up to early, and bad cafeteria food. Congratulations. Now go get a job.

Despite all my whining and complaining and lamenting that this whole business is nonsense, you know I will be front and center with my camera tomorrow. Cheering my baby on as he walks the stage in his cap and gown, ready to enter the real world. Of First Grade.

But I swear I will not cry. Cause that would really be ridiculous.


  1. I completely remember the craziness!!

    My eldest received a report card at the end of the year that 'graded' whether she could "properly use a Kleenex", "tie her shoes" ect... She had shown up accomplished at those skills. One of her classmates older siblings (an elementary student) was selling drugs after school. We moved away from Hot Springs City Schools at the end of that year.

    Here, my middle child, within the first 10 days of kindergarten--
    1. Got lice.
    2. Ask at the dinner table what the "F" word meant.
    3. Told us about the little boy that had pulled his pants down and flashed her.

  2. Bet you cry.

    Seriously, I feel the same way. If you've seen the Incredibles, the mother says something like, "Everybody's special", and her son points out that if everybody's special, then really nobody is.

    In Ireland, we don't have a cap-and-gown graduation until university degrees. My daughter's last day in secondary school (same as your high school, she's 18) is tomorrow: later that evening we'll go to a Mass in their honour (Catholic country, us) and then a bus takes them all to a disco-type party and brings them home again near midnight. Done. Sometime this summer they'll all find out where they're accepted to college, and we can pack their bags come September.

    The time between her leaving kindergarten and now? Hm, I think it was about 10 minutes. Feels like it.

  3. Are you sure you are not going to cry? I would be bawling my eyes out!

  4. Expressor- Unbelieveable. Public school will be the death of me.

    Susan- I didn't cry! I know it's going to fly by. I'm kind of excited about that though.

    Paula- Postively.


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