8th Grade Graduation Ceremony Etiquette?

Our daughter had her 8th grade graduation ceremony last night.  She does go to a huge middle school with over 800 students in each grade level. Thankfully, they had 2 ceremonies so only 425 kids were present at each ceremony.  When you add families to the picture, it does create a very full gym.

They had the school band play the entrance music while the students processed in.  People in the gym were talking so loud, the music could barely be heard.  I noticed several families arrive more than 30 minutes late and they felt free to talk, hug, stand up and walk around with relatives in the audience.  They seemed oblivious to the fact that others were trying to listen to the speakers at the front and that there was a ceremony going on.

Several people had crying or screaming babies which were quite distracting.  I know when my kids acted like that we would take them outside of the room until they quieted down. These people acted like their kids weren’t even crying.

When it came time to hand out the diplomas (all 425 of them) it was asked that applause be held until all students got their diploma.  This would shorten the time of the ceremony and also would make it possible to hear the name of  each child.  It became pretty obvious that most people did not care about this as many of them hooted, howled, whistled and whatever else made noise when names were called.

I realize it is difficult to control the behavior of large groups of people in social situations.  I guess I was brought up to have common courtesy for others and find it amazing that people do so many self-serving behaviors with no concern for others.

The good news was that my daughter didn’t notice all this since she was in front of the room and we were in the back…with a clear view of the majority of the audience.  She was thrilled to have graduated and to be with her friends.  My husband bought her a dozen long stemmed white roses and she was delighted.  She felt it was a special occasion and didn’t notice all the annoyances we could see during the ceremony.  She felt special and that’s what counted.  High School is just a few months away and she gets to start with a ‘clean slate’.  New friends, new possiblities!  Onto the future…and for a girl who was living in an orphanage less than 5 years ago, this is a huge moment in time.

Deborah Mumm, Everything for Adoption


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