Author Topic: High School Graduation  (Read 5061 times)

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jmarvellous

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Re: High School Graduation
« Reply #30 on: May 21, 2012, 11:46:14 AM »
We had to buy or borrow high school (royal blue with blue-and-white tassel, plus honor cords depending on your standing) and college robes (black with a tassel and sash that coordinated with your degree program -- red for me -- plus multiple gold honor cords and medals). My robes got passed down to people of similar height.

I still have my red tassel.

Our eighth and fifth grade events were definitely dressing-up occasions, but they were more award ceremonies than 'graduations.' We had annual award ceremonies every year through college, at which students were given academic honors. Attendance was mandatory in elementary (every student got some kind of 'award,' sometimes just a 'completion' certificate), and invite-only thereafter for students who earned recognition and their parents.

Saffy

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Re: High School Graduation
« Reply #31 on: May 21, 2012, 02:28:44 PM »
Thanks for all the responses!

What the people who have grown up with high school graduation being a 'thing' say makes sense - that not everyone achieves it (true in NZ also), that it's a celebration and acknowledgement of changing phases of life, and that sometimes it's just a good excuse for a celebration. I do kind of wish my family made a bigger deal of things, my poor kids will probably have to deal with me throwing parties for every new thing, no matter how insignificant!

Sharnita made a really good point too, that college is much more expensive in the US, so more help is offered (in the form of gifts). I often forget how much more expensive it is for students in the US.

It's really interesting reading about all the different education traditions in other countries too. I had to hire my cap and gown for my university graduation. I still remember how much it cost (about $150) and I was so annoyed - there were lots of other things I would have preferred to spend that money on!

jaxsue

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Re: High School Graduation
« Reply #32 on: May 21, 2012, 02:47:33 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

I grew up in MI, and there are tons of colleges! I went to school in Grand Rapids, and in that town alone there were a lot of private colleges.

jmarvellous

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Re: High School Graduation
« Reply #33 on: May 21, 2012, 03:26:11 PM »
Thanks for all the responses!

What the people who have grown up with high school graduation being a 'thing' say makes sense - that not everyone achieves it (true in NZ also), that it's a celebration and acknowledgement of changing phases of life, and that sometimes it's just a good excuse for a celebration. I do kind of wish my family made a bigger deal of things, my poor kids will probably have to deal with me throwing parties for every new thing, no matter how insignificant!

Sharnita made a really good point too, that college is much more expensive in the US, so more help is offered (in the form of gifts). I often forget how much more expensive it is for students in the US.

It's really interesting reading about all the different education traditions in other countries too. I had to hire my cap and gown for my university graduation. I still remember how much it cost (about $150) and I was so annoyed - there were lots of other things I would have preferred to spend that money on!

Ours were about $30 to buy! That is crazy.

My "senior portraits" were a fun experience and turned out beautifully. I don't know if getting a bunch of photos taken of you is a regional, national or global tradition, though.

Lynn2000

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Re: High School Graduation
« Reply #34 on: May 21, 2012, 08:40:41 PM »
My "senior portraits" were a fun experience and turned out beautifully. I don't know if getting a bunch of photos taken of you is a regional, national or global tradition, though.

I would say senior portraits (for high school seniors) were a pretty big deal at my high school (US Midwest). That was ten years ago but if anything I bet they're a bigger deal now--very professional, slick, multiple poses and outfits. A lot of people have them taken with accoutrements from high school--like a basketball if they were on the basketball team, for example. Or with personal possessions--around here it tends to be the student's beloved vehicle, often a truck, and sometimes also their dog. Not every pose, of course, but the dog or the truck usually get in there somewhere. (This is separate from the generic "school pictures" that are taken every year by the school photographer.)

I did not have special senior portraits taken because I don't like being photographed, and I got a lot of grief from older relatives who wanted copies of them.

I think people sometimes have a similar thing done for when they graduate college, but it doesn't seem like it's as big of a thing.
~Lynn2000

KenveeB

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Re: High School Graduation
« Reply #35 on: May 21, 2012, 10:29:57 PM »
It's really interesting reading about all the different education traditions in other countries too. I had to hire my cap and gown for my university graduation. I still remember how much it cost (about $150) and I was so annoyed - there were lots of other things I would have preferred to spend that money on!

Ours were about $30 to buy! That is crazy.

There can be a big difference in quality levels -- our high school ones were flimsy and wouldn't be worn past the one night, but our college ones were sturdy and could be worn as regular clothing. It was a college tradition for the seniors to wear their robes throughout the year at various events. Opening Convocation for each semester, but also less formal days like homecoming or 100 days until graduation. Those days, we'd wear them all day over our regular clothes.  For Opening Convocation of fall semester, we'd wear the robes with lingerie under it. Then afterwards, all the seniors would go jump in the lake in just our lingerie. ;)  Ahh, the traditions of women's colleges.

It amazed me how heavy the doctoral gowns are, with the big bell sleeves and velvet stripes. I was just about ready to pass out after an hour in that! We had the option to buy them, but you don't have the reason to wear them often unless you go into academia. So I rented mine.

Thipu1

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Re: High School Graduation
« Reply #36 on: May 22, 2012, 08:57:42 AM »
Our High School Senior portraits were a little different from the public schools in the area.  In the public schools, the photos were taken in school.  Girls wore black turtlenecks and the photographer provided a set of pearls so everyone was dressed alike.

Oddly enough, our Catholic school was a bit more sophisticated.  We made appointments with a local photographer and the photos were studio portraits.  The girls had to take off their blouses and wore a v-necked drape with a small crucifix provided by the photographer.  The photos were black and white.  (This was in 1965).  The pictures were then hand-colored so we could choose what color the drape would be. 

It sounds odd but the process did make everyone look like a debutante. 

jmarvellous

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Re: High School Graduation
« Reply #37 on: May 22, 2012, 10:21:47 AM »
Our High School Senior portraits were a little different from the public schools in the area.  In the public schools, the photos were taken in school.  Girls wore black turtlenecks and the photographer provided a set of pearls so everyone was dressed alike.

Oddly enough, our Catholic school was a bit more sophisticated.  We made appointments with a local photographer and the photos were studio portraits.  The girls had to take off their blouses and wore a v-necked drape with a small crucifix provided by the photographer.  The photos were black and white.  (This was in 1965).  The pictures were then hand-colored so we could choose what color the drape would be. 

It sounds odd but the process did make everyone look like a debutante.

Our official yearbook photos had the velvet drape and pearls (optional, you could pick a necklace of your own) for girls and a tuxedo dickie for the boys. The same was done throughout the region.

My senior portrait package also included a few of me in a suit with my vintage typewriter (destined for journalism school!), plus a few hokey Texas shots in a pearl-snap shirt, and some in a formal dress or T-shirt and jeans out in a park, and some in a studio in a nice sweater and pants.
That was 10 years ago.

My brother 6 years ago just did the tux shot and a few in a nice polo in front of a variety of studio backdrops. My sister this year opted to only do the yearbook photo, and sent a nicely edited picture (taken by my mother) of her with her guitar in front of the bedroom mural she painted. Very 'her,' very now and not very traditional.

jaxsue

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Re: High School Graduation
« Reply #38 on: May 23, 2012, 10:54:54 AM »
Re: senior pictures and regional differences: My X-DH is from the deep south. Where he lived all the pics were as a PP described: velvet drape for the girls and tuxedo look for the guys.

Where I grew up, in the N. midwest, our pics were quite casual. Mine were taken outdoors and I wore a velour sweater (all the rage in the late 70s!).  :) Other classmates had their pics taken with family pets like dogs, horses, etc.

However, things have changed in the south (at least where DS #2 lives). His senior pic is very casual; he's wearing a Dead Kennedy's t-shirt and it was taken outside.

kareng57

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Re: High School Graduation
« Reply #39 on: May 23, 2012, 09:12:21 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.


We once spent a Friday evening in a small US town in early June.  The hotel manager remarked that we'd gotten the last room available - good thing we'd reserved ahead of time.  We'd tried a few B&Bs before trying the hotel but they were fully booked for that day.

It turned out that it was graduation-weekend for the town's one high school.  And, just looking at the license plates in parking lots/on the street, there were a fair number from several states away.  I'm certainly not criticizing this in any way, just that it's quite different from here.

dietcokeofevil

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Re: High School Graduation
« Reply #40 on: May 23, 2012, 09:30:21 PM »
At my high school in Indiana, the senior portraits were a big deal.  In the yearbook, the younger grades had the typical school picture - grey backdrop with just their face and shoulders.  Each grade had a 2 page layout with just the photos and the students names.

For seniors, you had your picture taken by a professional photographer.  Besides using all of the different backdrops in the studio, you could pay extra to have a photo shoot at the place of your choosing.   In the yearbook, you had a decent sized picture, plus a listing of all the activities you had been involved in while in school.   

People also picked out two or three different poses and had a bunch of wallet sized photos taken.  You exchanged photos with all of your friends, and also included them in your graduation announcements.