Graduation Congregational

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Ethan's final day of kindergarten was last Wednesday. We received a note several days prior stating there would be a kindergarten program that day. I was hoping this wouldn’t end up being a “graduation” ceremony because I think like Mr. Incredible in that respect.

Bob Parr: It’s not a graduation. He’s moving from the 4th grade to the 5th grade.
Helen Parr: It’s a ceremony.
Bob Parr: It’s psychotic!

I think the graduation ceremony should be something really special, saved only for seniors, for the kids to look forward to all through school. Anyway, I arrived at the school at 9:15 and went into the auditorium to find seating was already very limited, but I managed to squeeze in to the middle of a row. The children came up on stage as the crowd clapped and proceeded to sing eight different little songs in English and Spanish. After that, the school principle got up to make some closing remarks. Here is where Ethan’s kindergarten program, became a cultural experience for this little white girl from the midwest.

Principle: We are gathered here today, to celebrate these glorious little children, in their kindergarten graduations
Some of the crowd:Mm Hmm.
Principle:And to commend them...
Some of the crowd: Mm Hmm.
Principle: ...for their efforts, at school this year.

The Principle’s voice seemed to increase in volume right before a pause, after which would immediately follow a chorus of satisfied Mmm Hmmm’s. But the best was yet to come.

Principle: You children, you are graduating from Kindergarten today. But are you going to settle, for just a Kindergarten education? No!
Crowd: Mmmm Hmmmmmm.
Principle: Someday you’ll graduate from sixth grade, but are you going to settle for just a sixth grade education? No!
Crowd: Mmmm Hmmm.
Principle: Someday, you’ll be graduating from High School. (Dramatic Long Pause) But are you going to settle for a High School Education?!?
Crowd: Mmm mmmmm. (some shouts of No way!)
Principle: You’re going to go on to college! And someday, you’re going to graduate from college. But are you going to settle for a college education?
Crowd: NO!
Principle: That’s right. After college, you’re going to go to graduate school! Yes, moms and dads, we have DOCTORS! and LAWYERS! and SCIENTISTS! and TEACHERS! and FORTUNE 500! BUSINESS! OWNERS! ON!THIS! STAGE!

The crowd simultaneously leapt to their feet, erupting in deafening cheers and clapping. It was absolutely the most contagious enthusiasm I have ever experienced and I found myself clapping and smiling as I watched those children on stage absolutely beaming from this wild attention and encouragement. I shook my head in wonder as I thought of the amazing cultural differences that exist in different parts of America, without which life is not nearly as interesting. I’d have to say that was the most exciting school program I’ve ever been too, and Ethan and I both loved it.