Monday, May 16, 2011

Graduation: The Beginning

Being an educator and living on a college campus, I have the privilege of attending many graduations.  To be honest, I used to hate it.  It's a formality.  It's not required.  You don't even get your diploma on that day.  As a spectator, you sit and listen to people talk for over an hour until your friend/family has their name called as they walk across the stage for 5 seconds.  What a way to spend an afternoon!

My Sister Ashley
However, the farther I get into the field of education the more and more graduation is growing on me.  I might even say I enjoy it.  I like to imagine all of the amazing things that are going to be accomplished by the people in the caps and gowns.  I like to think about all of the problems that could be solved by the people with the tassels and cords.  I like to think about how far each has come from their freshmen year or even middle school years.

Graduation itself is not a life-changing experience.  It is a celebration of the life-changing events that graduates have experienced. 

Another reason I like graduation is that it serves as both an end and a beginning.  The ceremony is often called the commencement.  The root of that word being commence, which means start or begin.  As people graduate from high school, college, or graduate programs, they may be finished with their degree but they are beginning something new.  They now have new knowledge, new perspectives, new goals, new opportunities.  How exciting to be a graduate!

As you attend graduation ceremonies as a participant or a spectator, remember that you are not there for entertainment.  You are there to celebrate, support, dream, and begin!

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