At graduation, individual students are singled out for excellence. Awardees are named. Honorees are called out. Valedictorians are delivering their speeches. And I just sit there and cringe.
What is the purpose of this ritual? Why does the whole world need to know who the best students are? Believe me, these kids know it already. Their classmates know it. Their parents certainly know it. And probably so do their bubbies and zaydies. Is it so important for the rest of us to know it too?
I know people who will never forget the disappointment and embarrassment they felt at their own graduation because they were deprived of some obscure honor which they had hoped to receive. I know students who sat there and watched one classmate after another accept accolades and praise, and it bothers them years later. Is this what graduation is all about?
(M. L. – YWN)