Our youngest graduated from elementary school today in a ceremony that was kind of mixed.
First, in order to reduce crowd size, there is a farewell ceremony for the sixth graders with all the first through fourth grade classes. The lower classmen were then sent home and only the fifth grade and the graduating class remained. (Note: She Who Must Be Obeyed and I accidentally crashed the farewell for the lower classmen. Long story.)
This means that not only did all the parents of graduating students get seats, there were also a lot of good seats to be had.
However, after that things get kind of odd.
The entire ceremony took two hours which, I’m pretty sure, is longer than both my high school and university graduations. In both of those cases the goal was 1) give me the damned diploma and 2) where’s the beer? (Note: I was technically of drinking age when I graduated high school although I wasn’t when I got to university. Another long story.)
What made the sixth grade graduation go on so long was the 50 minutes of speeches from various adults. Diploma presentation for 60 students took 25 minutes. Speeches a bit longer.
There was also a 15 minute section where all the 30+ VIPs (a few of whom gave the long speeches) were introduced individually.
After that was a final performance that took 30 minutes and tested my arm strength (as I was running the video camera). The sixth grade gave a speech that involved each student speaking part of the speech and, occasionally, all of them speaking in unison. That was followed by a song and the fifth graders repeating the process. This was all kind of cool and lots of people cried.
After that, the graduates marched out and I got to escape. She Who Must Be Obeyed remained behind.