I’ve never been a fan of high school graduation ceremonies. I’ve attended two for my alma matter (Clarence High School in Western New York) and, frankly, they were pretty boring.
My graduating class was about 375 students, which meant a lot of name reading and a lot of watching people walk across the stage at Kleinhans Music Hall in Buffalo.
In addition to that, I always found graduations to be gaudy, ceremonious and overly-sentimental. Does anyone even know off-hand what the origin of the cap and gown tradition is? I doubt it.
Shouldn’t parents be able to tell their sons and daughters that they are proud of them without having to see them dress up, have their name called and walk across a stage?
They often deteriorate into a popularity contest as well as certain people get the loudest cheers, and someone always brings in an air horn for some reason.
I found more gratification in seeing a good report card or getting my first paycheck than I did in walking across a stage and being handed an empty diploma holder.
That being said, I found Skaneateles’ commencement ceremony last Sunday to be a fresh change of pace.
First off, the event is held outside and many of the parents were watching from lawn chairs. Some people even watched the events from boats while wearing bathing suits and sipping beers. I’m sure the administration could do without that aspect, but that’s what they get for making it a public event.
Though on this occasion the ceremony was a little rushed due to the weather, the tone of the day seemed much more laid back and informal than a typical graduation. Instead of walking across the stage, the graduates just walked across the lawn.
And, of course, who wouldn’t love the tradition of jumping in the Skaneateles Lake fully clothed?