Today, after five grueling years of rigorous academia and the endless pursuit of fulfilling his life’s work, Chase is graduating from elementary school.  And what a trip it has been.  From the difficult lunchroom decisions as to whether to buy or bring on “Pizza Day” to the unsolved mystery of the missing 1000 pencils we purchase every September, this era has been one of challenge and unrest.  The angst over the late library book, the toiling over 15 minutes of “really hard” homework every night, and the ever constant threat of being held in for recess – he has weathered all of it with grace and dignity and therefore clearly deserves…..


This morning, along with several hundred parents, we will stuff ourselves into an unventilated gymnasium and go through the full graduation ritual – for 11 year olds.  These ceremonies are barely tolerable when they recognize the granting of college degrees.  I was bored to tears at my OWN college graduation.  Yet, still we feel obligated to commemorate the “moving up” process.

And while admittedly I do tend to well up at the first notes of Pomp and Circumstance, I think ye olde tradition could use a little boost.  If you are going to make us suffer through the deep thoughts of a 5th grader about what elementary school meant to him (full disclosure: my kid is the one speaking this year), the least you could do is consider the following “enhancements” to the ceremony:

  • Set up a dunk tank in which the children with perfect attendance are suspended over a large vat of hand sanitizer.  Allow the five children with the most absences to throw medicine balls at the target until all the healthy Harrys and Henriettas are adequately inoculated for the coming year.
  • Prior to the commencement, slingshots and appropriate ammo (chewed gum dipped in peanut butter) are distributed to all the mothers of bullied children.  Fire when ready ladies!
  • During the ceremony, parents should be recognized and asked to stand, at which point their child has one shot to embarrass and humiliate them by sharing family secrets or trying to dance.  Awards are given for the best mortification.  It’s only fair
  • Rather than just hand over the diplomas, make each child go under the limbo pole.  If they fall, they must repeat 5th grade.
  • As the 5th grade degrees are bestowed, teachers will access a remote control device which selects the most appropriate language to describe the graduate (kiss-up, whiner, future in re-hab guaranteed, oddly normal despite sicko parent, etc.) Results are flashed on large screen as the children walk across the stage.
  • Upon accepting their diplomas, the graduates must declare a college major and choose a spouse from the graduating class pool.
  • One week prior to graduation, students vote on the best and worst teacher in the school.  Best teacher gets a bonu$; worst teacher gets a pink slip.  I fully recognize there might be some union issues here, but kids don’t lie.  If a majority of them think you suck, you do. Not really an issue in our school, thankfully but I have heard stories…
At this point my attorney has advised me to include the following statement:  The thoughts expressed in this blog post are the sole satiric opinion of the author and do not in any way represent the views of her husband who teaches at the school where 5th grade graduation exercises will take place.  He may crack a smile when reading this post but certainly does not condone this immaturity on any level. Consider this post just some light thoughts coming from one parent who will never attend another 5th grade graduation.  It is my gift to the parents of future graduates.

A huge congratulations to the 5th grade class of 2011 a.k.a the senior high class of 2018 a.k.a the college graduates of 2022.  Mom is just kidding.  I am so very proud of you. xxoo

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