Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Rant #971: Graduation Situation

Now that Memorial Day is behind us, we are firmly in the period where schools across the country graduate their senior classes.

Many colleges have already held their commencement ceremonies, and from now into June, middle schools and high schools will send out their seniors into the world.

And part of the process is getting the dreaded graduation picture.

I remember in junior high school--that is what it was called back then--we went as a class into the library and we had a class picture taken.

No individual photos were taken, if I remember correctly, and that class photo was given to parents and ended up in our yearbook, which I am currently posting on my Facebook site honoring my old neighborhood or Rochdale Village, South Jamaica, Queens, New York.

In high school, I remember that we had our pictures taken during the summer, in August. I remember the day very clearly. It was a hot and windy day, and like most boys at the time, I wore my hair fairly long. We were told to wear suits and ties, and like most of the other guys, I wore a suit and tie on the top, and since it wasn't going to be a long shot, I wore shorts and sneakers on the bottom.

I walked to school, as I was about three months away from getting my driver's license. The wind swirled that day, and by the time I got to school, my hair was a mess. I didn't have a comb, so I patted it down, took the picture, and that was that.

The way the picture came out spoke a thousand words about what I thought about high school--and myself--at the time.

My college photo I don't remember at all. The only thing I do remember is that my hair was combed a bit better than it was for my high school photo, and that it came out pretty good.

Now, I am going through this picture-taking process with my son, who graduates high school next year.

This is going to be a photo for the ages, as at least right now, he isn't going to college, so my wife and I want this photo to be the best that it can be.

Things are done much differently now. Kids are given an assigned time to take the picture, which is not taken in the dead of summer anymore, but during the school year.

Next Wednesday, at 5:08 p.m., he has his appointment.

Suits and ties are not required anymore, just a nice top for the boys, so he won't wear a tie, just a nice shirt.

He has to get a haircut this weekend, so he won't have a problem with his hair like I did.

It should go well, I hope. We have told him that his high school portrait is one for the ages. It forever defines him, and will be referred back to when people go through their yearbooks 10, 20, 30, 40 and more years afterward.

It is among the most important photos he will ever take.

I went through this with my daughter, but it was very, very different.

Her mother was uncooperative during the whole process, and I couldn't even go through the school to get the photo. I had to go through the photographer, who also gave me hell, but finally, it was all sorted out and I received her photo, which was pretty good at that.

So on Wednesday, my son will have his picture taken, and my wife and I hope it turns out just great.

Clearly, my on does not understand how important this photo really is, nor should he understand.

But by the time he is my age, he will understand, I can guarantee you that.

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