Author Topic: High School Graduation  (Read 5576 times)

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Lynn2000

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Re: High School Graduation
« Reply #15 on: May 18, 2012, 11:08:04 PM »
I don't get the idea of a graduation before H.S. 

But, I think in America it is really a "You are now an adult" thing rather than a "Graduation" thing.  There seems to be an engrained need to celebrate entering adulthood.  There are other celebrations for subgroups, but the H.S. Graduation seems to be the generic American version.

In America, theoretically, everyone gets the same education that takes 12 years.  So, you graduate when you are 17 or 18-years-old.  18-years-old is when you are considered an adult for everything except alcohol.  Generally speaking, after H.S. you are expected to move out of your parent's house and either work or go to college. 

p.s. I am the one that started the other thread.

POD, this is my impression as well (and I also don't 'get' pre-high school 'graduations'). I did want to mention, though, that in many parts of the US there are a lot of people who drop out of high school for one reason or another, so there are still many families where the child graduating from high school is achieving something her parents and grandparents never did. And she might have achieved that despite a lot of obstacles such as low income, home stresses, learning disabilities, etc.. So I think that in many cases, graduating from high school is considered a big achievement, not just something everyone does; and money might be given (if it could be afforded) to help out a little with college/adult living expenses or "useful treats."
~Lynn2000

sammycat

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Re: High School Graduation
« Reply #16 on: May 19, 2012, 02:07:08 AM »
I did primer 1  - form 5 (grades 1-10) at school in NZ, and then grades 11-12 in Australia.  Leaving school wasn't a big deal, or any deal really, in Australia either. 

We had a formal (prom), after exams, a few days before school finished, but that was about it.  We simply went to school one day, and... didn't the next.

I've never come across an Australian school that had caps and gowns, a formal ceremony with diplomas, ticketed guests, etc.  Most will just have a final assembly.  Depending on the number of students they might call each student to the stage and give out a certificate, but that's about it.  I'm sure there are some schools that do a more elaborate farewell, but they'd be the exception, not the norm.

I've noticed more and more schools here are holding the formals earlier in the year, so it really can't even be considered a graduation event in the true sense of the word really. 

ETA:  A lot of primary schools do a mini graduation thing now though, before the kids move onto grade 8 at high school.  It seems to fall into 2 categories:  kids wear their uniforms to a school based function during the day, where there'll be snacks and each child gets a 'graduation' certificate;  or they wear nice clothes and have a slightly fancier 'do' either in the school/community hall with decorations and nicer food. 

« Last Edit: May 19, 2012, 02:34:02 AM by sammycat »

marcel

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Re: High School Graduation
« Reply #17 on: May 19, 2012, 02:59:12 AM »
In The Netherlands high school graduation is a big deal. One tradition is that when you get word that you have passed your exams, you hang a flag out, with your schoolbag hanging from it.

It is customary here to give gifts or money for graduation. Especially when the student is going to university the next year, normal presents will be stuff you need when moving out on your own (pots, pans, plates, utensils, etc are very popular.)

However there are usually no big parties for family etc. Off course the students themselves do organize parties, not just after graduation, but also before that. The first parties start at the last day of the final exams, and the last parties will be around a week after graduation. Most people got together with a group of friends to organize a party, to keep expenses down, and also because if everybody organizes a party, it would even be too much for a couple of 17-19 year olds who have nothing better to do then wait around for their exam results.
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Ereine

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Re: High School Graduation
« Reply #18 on: May 19, 2012, 03:13:10 AM »
In Finland it's a huge thing (even with free higher education). Not everyone goes to high school (it's around 50 % I think) and though people get celebrated for graduating from vocational schools too, it's very low key compared to high schools.

I know that other countries have school leaving exams too and they're probably as hard as ours are but for some reason ours get a lot of attention. The questions get posted in newspapers (the next day) and when the results are announced there are stories about students who have done particularly well. This year there was a girl who got the highest grade in nine subjects, though many people take less exams. The system has changed and now it's possible to take more (in my time all sciences got lumped into one exam) but in my time taking four or five was common, you had to take at least four (mine were Finnish, Swedish, English, German and Maths). School years ends in February for third year high school students, there's some traditional celebration then (with other students), then there's a month's study leave for last minute studying and then there's the exams. Languages have two parts, listening comprehension which takes about an hour and a written exam that takes all day, for Finnish is two written exams (again, you have the whole day for each) and for Maths one exam, I think that these days other subjects (like chemistry and history and biology) get half a day each. You don't have to do the whole thing at once, you can take some subjects in the fall and some in spring. It can be quite easy, as it was for me, I passed easily with good enough grades but if you want to do very well you usually have to study a lot. Most universities have entrance exams but you will get points for your grades and sometimes with good enough grades you don't have to take the entrance exam.

There's a graduation ceremony at the school, usually only family goes there (because the seating is often limited and it's boring), there will be speeches and maybe some performances and it my school there was something involving men who had graduated there 50 years ago (when it was a boys' school). Then the students get called one by one and receive their diploma and the hat. The hat is very different from what I've seen used America, it's a remnant from a time when university students had to wear uniforms and it has a lot of symbolic value. Being a high school graduate used to be a big deal and it wasn't possible for most people, so people were very proud of them in their family and the students (they are called ylioppilaat, "high students") might wear the hat all the time. These days the hats only get worn at May Day, which is a student celebration here. This is what the hat looks like, with typical graduation fashions and singing. (and this was me, 13 years ago at my graduation with my mother).

After the ceremony at the school there's usually a celebration at the students home. The guests are usually family, maybe family friends and possibly friends of the student if they aren't at their own parties. It's also not uncommon to invite teachers, for some reason I invited my art teacher and she actually came to my party. There are also gifts, money is the most common but you might also get gifts that are meant for your new independent life, like sheets and dishes and things like that. And I got a lot of roses. Some people may go partying with their friends later. And then you get a professional photo taken and send it to your relatives and they display it in their bookcase.

There are smaller ceremonies for other school levels but there usually isn't much celebration connected with them. School year always end with a ceremony/assembly thing, with performances and singing and there's usually something involving the class that's leaving the school. I think that at one school we were given roses and at another our diplomas. There's no formal kindergarden here so no graduation for that.             

kherbert05

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Re: High School Graduation
« Reply #19 on: May 19, 2012, 08:30:17 AM »
I don't see a problem with completion ceremonies. We have end of the year award ceremonies for all grades. The Kinder and 5th grade are a little more fancy. The 5th graders also get their first school dance.
Don't Teach Them For Your Past. Teach Them For Their Future

Lynn2000

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Re: High School Graduation
« Reply #20 on: May 19, 2012, 11:38:44 AM »
Fascinating to hear about schooling and graduation in other countries! Thanks a lot! :)
~Lynn2000

jaxsue

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Re: High School Graduation
« Reply #21 on: May 19, 2012, 03:04:42 PM »
We're pretty low-key in Canada as well

IME, very close relatives (such as grandparents who live nearby) might attend the ceremony along with parents - but you generally don't find people traveling long distances to attend a young relative's HS graduation.  Parents might hold a party, but it's for their graduating son/daughter and his/her friends.  It's not the kind of thing that they'd invite their own friends, adult neighbours, far-flung relatives etc. to.  And gifts would only be expected from parents.

I know things are different in the US.  I've never heard of anyone sending HS graduation announcements here, but I know that they're common there.  And re "graduation" from elementary and middle school - the administrations here seem to go to some effort to call them "leaving celebrations" rather than graduation.  You really don't graduate from anything prior to grade 12.

I'm born and raised in the US, but my entire extended family is in Canada (parents never gave up their Can citizenship, so I was raised in that culture), and I've noticed the difference, too. Frankly, I like the Canadian way better.

Thipu1

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Re: High School Graduation
« Reply #22 on: May 20, 2012, 10:43:39 AM »
In my experience, graduations are a recognition of a change from one school to another. 
I've had four Graduations. 

The first one was the Kindergarten Graduation.  It was a little thing.  Kids wore Sunday clothes.  Moms made oaktag mortar boards.  Boys had blue wool tassels and girls had pink wool tassels.  The Kindergarten rhythm Band played.  At base, Kindergarten Graduation was an occasion for happy parents to take pretty pictures of their children. 
According to my mother, I was 'cheated' out of an 8th Grade Graduation because my class was transferred to the local High School.  The 8th Grade Graduation was as far as my Father got. 

High School graduation had to be a low-key big deal. My Mother had her High School Graduation and, in her generation, that was a wonderful thing.  My school didn't have a Prom.  Parties were back-yard  affairs with burgers on the grill,  Christmas lights strung around the lawn and friends dancing to records.

The party when I received my BA was smaller still.  It was only family and the burgers were still the food of choice. 

In 2000 I received my Master's degree. It passed without comment.  The only person who acknowledged it was Mr. Thipu.  I didn't even receive a card from anyone on either side of the family.     




Venus193

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Re: High School Graduation
« Reply #23 on: May 20, 2012, 12:06:37 PM »
My junior high had a grad ceremony at the high school it fed.  I don't remember the color of the caps and gowns; I think they were blue and they were rented.  I have no photos of it.  My high school graduation caps and gowns were maroon and were also rented. 

My college cap and gown were purchased and were black; I still have them.

My mother did not attend either my high school or my college graduation.  She took a European vacation during the first and we were not on speaking terms for the latter.  I don't recall receiving many gifts for any of these.

Of course now that Brunhilde's son is graduating from junior high I am wondering what is an appropriate gift.

Sharnita

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Re: High School Graduation
« Reply #24 on: May 20, 2012, 12:59:22 PM »
As an American I had a graduation ceremony from High School and from University - undergrad and then grad.  We did have a ceremony when we left 8th grade but it was not called graduation, there were no caps and gowns and it was probably more out of recognition that we were going from a parochial school to a public school. There was definitely nothing in kindergarten or the lower grades.  I never really heard of people I knew in other districts doing that kind of thing, either.

dietcokeofevil

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Re: High School Graduation
« Reply #25 on: May 20, 2012, 09:35:03 PM »
I'm in the US, to me the big fuss behind high school graduation is that it's the ending of one stage of your life and the start of another.  Most of the people that I know went away to college and didn't return back to our hometown.  After spending 13 years in school with the same students, it's a big change.  Graduation presents are intended to help the students prepare for college or moving out on their own.  Besides money, I received towels, bedding, and just general stuff that were needed for a dorm room.   Most of the people had open houses, so it's kind of a thing to go to multiple open houses for various students that you know.

nuit93

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Re: High School Graduation
« Reply #26 on: May 20, 2012, 09:59:54 PM »
Hi everyone!

I was just reading a thread in Life in General about how much money to give for a high school graduation, and was surprised to see everybody suggesting sums instead of questioning giving money in the first place. I'm pretty sure this is a cultural thing.

I grew up in New Zealand but now live in North America. In New Zealand (at least when I was there) there was no such thing as a high school graduation. Usually the students held a party, but that was organized by them, not the school. Nobody gives gifts, or even really congratulates you. I think it's just not considered a big deal; it's just something you're expected to do, rather than being an achievement. Even when I finished university, I got a couple of small gifts and a family dinner, but that was it (again, it's just something you're expected to do).

So obviously North America is different. What about other countries? Is it all of North America, or just parts?

I just thought about it, and I come from a family that's not easily impressed. Some of this may be my personal experience talking (but I maintain that graduation ceremonies for kindergarteners is silly!)  ;)

I'm from North America, I did attend my HS graduation ceremony and did have a small BBQ with my family afterwards, but it wasn't considered a HUGE deal.  As my mom put it, "I *expect* you to graduate High School.  I'll *celebrate* you graduating college."

Sharnita

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Re: High School Graduation
« Reply #27 on: May 20, 2012, 10:12:47 PM »
I'm in the US, to me the big fuss behind high school graduation is that it's the ending of one stage of your life and the start of another.  Most of the people that I know went away to college and didn't return back to our hometown.  After spending 13 years in school with the same students, it's a big change.  Graduation presents are intended to help the students prepare for college or moving out on their own.  Besides money, I received towels, bedding, and just general stuff that were needed for a dorm room.   Most of the people had open houses, so it's kind of a thing to go to multiple open houses for various students that you know.

This is a good point.  as I considered this it occurred to me that, in Michigan at least, there is an astounding number of colleges and universities for grads to choose from so even those going on do not go on together.  There are something like 13 state universities and some of those have multiple campuses.  In addition there are private college, community colleges, etc. I looked it up because I was curious and even living in the state I was astounded.  I do know my brother and I were in college at the same time and attended schools that were at least 9 hours apart (in good weather, driving 70 mph). 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_colleges_and_universities_in_Michigan

magdalena

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Re: High School Graduation
« Reply #28 on: May 21, 2012, 07:54:11 AM »
Ereine explained the Finnish clebration perfectly.

I still have my graduation picture in my office bookcase. And the hat sits on top of that bookcase. I no longer live in Finland and that picture and the hat attract a lot of questions  ;D




Thipu1

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Re: High School Graduation
« Reply #29 on: May 21, 2012, 10:02:51 AM »
All the robes for graduation were rented except for College.  It was required for incoming students to have their own caps and gowns because the school had a monthly convocation at which Academic attire was mandatory. 

In a way, this was merciful because, in a pinch, you could throw the stuff on over your nightgown and still look perfectly respectable.  The gown has also come in quite handy as the base for Halloween costumes over the years.  The monogram is also kind of neat.