The Graduate

My son Zack is now a graduate of the eighth grade.

It’s a milestone because it marks the end of his tenure at the K-8 Catholic school he attends. All the kids will go their separate way so it’s different than just moving from the town’s middle school to the high school.

The staff and teachers did a great job of recognizing the student’s achievements and time together and capped it off with a nice graduation ceremony.

It was all well and good until somebody walked up and said, “Congratulations.”

Congratulations? I must have responded inappropriately because the person gave me that “You asshole” look that comes after saying something inappropriate. But come on —congratulations on making it through eighth grade?

Excuse me, but what is this, Arkansas —where graduating eighth grade is like getting your medical degree? So sorry if I sound like a jerk but you know what? You’d better graduate from eighth grade. Now go have a nice Summer.

6 thoughts on “The Graduate

  1. This kind of how I felt about getting trophies for my 8-year-old son’s AA baseball team this year. He’s received a trophy every year at the end of his season since he was 4, but at some point shouldn’t a trophy mean something more than “Hey! You parents signed you up for baseball!”

  2. On the one hand, all of the kids on our team played hard and improved over the course of the season.

    On the other hand, despite playing hard, we still finished with a losing record.

    I could go either way, which is why I didn’t protest the idea of trophies. They are only 8 and 9 after all. But one of these days there won’t be a trophy just for playing and I’ll be OK with that. Whether or not my son is OK with it, well, that’s a lesson he’s going to have to learn.

  3. Just kidding about the trophies, of course.

    I guess we shouldn’t be surprised they keep track of the W/L records of 8 and 9-year- olds.

    In 14 years of coaching I never really paid any attention to our record —but soccer is the sport of socialists, isn’t it?

  4. This was the first year that scores were actually kept and even reported in the Gazette. Although in previous years, even though there was no official score, every kid on the field kept track on their own.

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