Graduation! Congratulations!

Graduation! Congratulations!

Waiting on the lawn at UVA to watch my granddaughter graduate all of us were filled with anticipation. This was a real triumph for her because she had a rocky final year of high school. But she persevered and went, first, to Piedmont Community College for two years where she earned great grades. She then completed her degree with two years of study at UVA. We are so proud of her because she has true “grit” and a will to succeed. Not everyone has this innately, but she does. It will be fun to see what she does in life because it will almost certainly be original and fun and lucrative.

The day of her graduation was magnificent. We were sitting in white folding chairs placed in rows on the grass. We were shaded by a tree. We were in the front row behind a rope separating us from the graduates. Unfortunately, we were on the wrong side to see our graduate. But her father was near her as she walked down the Lawn. He took lots of photos for us to see later. After a very nice graduation ceremony, we all met at a local place to figure out how to get to the new restaurant where we all had brunch. It was a marvelous, happy, and warm family gathering. Our brunch was joyful. The graduate was exhausted and ready for a nap. I don’t believe she slept much the night before. We soon parted and went our separate ways, very pleased with our family. Time to rest up for the next celebration.

Happy young man!

The very next week one of my grandsons graduated from Christ Church School in Saluda, Virginia. Again we were all thrilled with his success at this school. When he was little he had some early troubles with elementary learning. I believe that school is not always the best choice, especially for boys. I wish I had known more about homeschooling when my children were young and also for some of my grandchildren. This young man was always a sailor and an artist and he loved birds. School did not suit him. His personality was simply not that of a studious child. He was just a normal little boy, but life is hard for normal boys these days. I believe it is harder today than when I was a child. Boys were expected to be “boys” back then. They were allowed a lot more time to explore and take chances than children today. And they were expected to fall and get back on whatever they fell off of. Bruises, even broken bones, and near misses were part of daily life.

I have seventeen grandchildren and so I have had some experience with graduations. The problems and the triumphs of schools from elementary through college would fill many volumes. Along with other organizations that have lost my confidence such as hospitals, doctors, politicians, and the courts, I must add school. The amount of bureaucracy and top-heavy management has inflated the costs tremendously. Has it helped the students? That is debatable.

Schools today are factories for keeping kids off the streets. They are designed to teach (indoctrinate) students to behave, comply with rules, and believe what they are told by authorities. If a student does not fit in they have a difficult time there. For many, medication is prescribed to make them better students. (i. e. More compliant and able to conform) Quite a few of my grandchildren are NOT conformists. I wonder how they came to have that trait?

All my life there have been a series of desperate situations that we were told would end the world as we knew it. In the 1950s we were told we were entering a mini ice age but not to worry because we were likely to be killed by a nuclear attack. Many people who could afford it built bomb shelters. And you can see from the list I posted some of the other WRONG things that people have been threatened with.

Young people today are worried about so much, and many have decided not to have children. I hope none of my grandchildren are so deluded. They are all free thinkers and have definite ideas about what they believe. They can back it up with facts, too, even though they all believe in different things. I am inordinately proud of all of them. Luckily they have mostly all found a way to go through school and graduate from college. This is considered the right thing to do. But is it? These days the less time spent in the clutches of the faculty of a college or university the better.

Literature, science, and of course mathematics are part of being educated. It is necessary to know writing and grammar, along with history, by that I mean true history, not propaganda for any group. Learning teaches them how to navigate in the world. These subjects should not be pushed away to make time for “gender studies”, diversity training, or the plethora of “women’s studies”. How do any of those courses help anyone? They just cause strife. It disturbs me to think of the world my grandchildren are entering and the lack of tools at their disposal. Luckily they are all competent, healthy, intelligent, and curious.

They will find a way or they will make one!

Copyright©. 2023 Bonnie B. Matheson

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