I recently took a trip down to Raleigh for a friend’s daughter’s high school graduation.
It’s funny… A few months ago, I remember talking with coworkers about how I don’t understand why people voluntarily go to graduation ceremonies. There’s nothing entertaining about them. At best, you get a couple of speakers and someone who has to read off about 892 names.
Not long after that conversation, I got the phone call asking me to come down for the ceremony. I was already planning to be there for the celebration afterward. But if they were planning to reserve a ticket especially for me, how could I possibly say no?
And, as graduation ceremonies go, it was a graduation ceremony. There were a couple of speakers and someone who had to read off about 892 names.
Mini-rant: At the beginning of the ceremony, and then again just before the distribution of diplomas, instructions were given to families and friends of the graduates. “Please do not cheer for your student until the end of the presentation so that each student is able to appropriately hear their name called.”
It was in this graduation ceremony that I was reminded why we have such a difficult time expecting children to behave themselves and follow the rules in school. Because their parents clearly cannot follow a simple instruction to refrain from cheering obnoxiously when their child’s name is called.
I get it. You’re excited. Your child worked hard to get to this point. That’s fine. Cheer. But keep it short and quick. Because that lady on stage who is trying to read off about 892 names is trying to do so without stumbling over some pretty complicated pronunciations and is trying to do so quickly so that we can all clear out of the convention center before the next high school graduation begins at 10:00. When you cheer and your screams extend beyond your student’s name and into the next two or three… it’s excessive. Grow up.
If I’d been the name caller, I’d have been pissed. There’s a good chance I’d have been one of those people that just glares at the crowd and refuses to continue until I have silence. “I can wait, people.”
Later in the day was the graduation party. It didn’t take long for me to become pretty uncomfortable. Not because I wasn’t happy to be there. Not because I wasn’t happy for the graduate. It was simply because there were just a lot of people there, filling a house that may not have been large enough to appropriately host a crowd of that size. Thankfully, it was a nice day outside. So I spent most of the party hanging out in the backyard with some friends and their young children.
I promise… I’m getting to the Peppa Pig of it all.
After the party, my friends’ small children were about as fed up with the excessive crowd as I’d been. But they were a little more vocal about it, as young children often are. To appease them, Peppa Pig was shown on the TV in the living room.
Y’all… I’d never seen an episode of Peppa Pig before that day. I knew what the cartoon looked like. I knew she spoke with a British accent (because I’m pretty sure I read somewhere that American kids are developing British accents based on how much they’ve watched Peppa Pig). I’ll be honest… I was entranced.
I couldn’t look away. I’m sure part of my hypnotic stare was because I was exhausted from too much time with people. But part of it was because I was genuinely intrigued by what I was seeing.
Particularly the episode involving some kind of barbecue. Uh… Peppa’s dad, who is also a pig, was hosting a barbecue. His friend, who I think was some kind of cattle, brought the grill. And all I can think is, What are they going to cook on that grill?! Which of Peppa’s neighbors is getting eaten?!
We never found out. The fire in the grill got out of control. They had to call the fire department to put it out. And then they all just played in the mud. As one does.
I will say this… I appreciate that Peppa never broke the fourth wall. Unlike a certain young backpack-clad explorer. Do you know who I’m talking about? *Blink* *Blink*