I got an early start on graduation season last weekend, when I attended my niece's commencement from Carmel High School in suburban Indianapolis.
I'm always fascinated by the creative tensions that underlie such ceremonies. School officials try to enforce decorum, while a few students plot pranks and some families just can't help whooping it up.
I admit to feeling sympathy with the dignified and the defiant. I behaved at my own graduation and my son's. But when I read the letter from Carmel High urging students and families to refrain from bringing balloons, beach balls, bubbles and noisemakers, my first thought was, "Bubbles? Now that would be fun ..."
|1,200 grads equals one huge crowd|
Carmel is a huge school, with almost 1,200 graduates. The families have evolved their own method for working around the "please hold your applause" issue: A single clap after each name is called. I can't say I love the Carmel clap -- it feels a bit dismissive or sarcastic, and it's still a whole lot of palm-smacking. But it's interesting.
Today kicks off a five-day stretch of graduation ceremonies for Charlotte-Mecklenburg's big high schools. I will duly pass along the warning: Do not bring in flowers, duffel bags, fanny packs, backpacks, gifts, balloons, air horns or noisemakers. Expect to go through a metal detector.
If you experience anything inspiring, quirky, entertaining or noteworthy, please share.
And above all: Congratulations to the Class of 2013, and to the teachers, mentors and family who got them to this point.