Wednesday, June 4

The (5th grade) Graduate

Stocking Cap
Stocking cap, Lion Brand Microspun, original design

Today was the last day of school and Tex attended his 5th grade graduation with all of us in tow. Now, as to why we're commemorating the fact that my kid is going on to 6th grade is a mystery to me. Currently in the United States, there are graduation ceremonies for kindergarten, 5th grade, 8th grade as well as the traditional high school and college rites. Apparently, while we were living in Paris from 2000-2003, President Bush decided to "leave no child behind." Everyone got so excited that their kids passed the state tests they celebrated every chance they got. Today's ceremony, lasting longer than my own high school graduation, had four speeches, a special song and an event video available for sale at the front door for thirty-something dollars. Have we set our expectations this low? This is a public school in Austin TX, people, not some $30,000(or more) a year private school on the East Coast.

There was even a guest speaker and this is where I draw the line. How can anyone expect a bunch of 11 and 12-year olds to pay attention to, much less appreciate, the amazing story of a world class runner that survived the genocide in Burundi? Gilbert Tuhabonye spoke to the kids about his childhood and brutal experiences during the Hutu uprising against the Tutsis. I am definitely not one to shelter my children from the harsher realties of life and the world, but hearing someone talk about burning buildings at their boarding school, machetes and death is a bit hard to reconcile with the advice, given later, to "listen to your parents" to a bunch of kids squirming in their seats. Look, Mr. Tuhabonye's accomplishments are incredible and his work is inspirational. I just think the speech would have had more impact with 8th graders than 6th graders. The whole ceremony was a bit over-the-top--I would have loved to hear the new Cuban chief of police, Art Acevedo, talk about when his mom calls him on his cell phone at crime scenes. OK, I'll work on that for the next year's graduation ceremony.

Here's a stocking cap that I knitted up for a friend of mine. Her kid loves Snoopy and wanted a hat just like him, soooo a few months and a million waiting room visits/music lessons later, here it is. Just knit a hat in the round and then, towards the top of the crown, start decreasing. This hat measures about 20 inches. You may want 24-30 for a skate-boarding teenager.
Stocking Cap


turtlegirl76 said...

The mind boggles at the guest speaker choice. Um. 5th graders hearing about the Hutus and Tutsi? Wow.

Love the cap. Very cool.

Mardel said...

Four speeches and hutus and tutsi? My God, I can hardly sit through these things and I am an adult. Of course I also only went to my high school graduation because my grandparents insisted on coming. I thought is was irrelevant since I was going to college in the fall.

The whole thing seems excessive, especially the guest speaker. I think better to have a quick ceremony and free ice-cream. That would have meant much more to me when I was that age. (it might still)

The hat is so cute though.

Renee said...

Love the hat. But I am with you on the whole 5th grade graduation thing. Not something I am really looking forward to with Ms. Sophie next year. However, it never occurred to me that Sophia might end up getting a detailed education on just how inhumane humans can be to one another. I will HOPE with all my heart for a slightly more innocuous guest speaker. . .

Barbara from Nova Scotia said...

Love the hat colours! Totally cool!