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Having a Ball

May 25, 2006 by David Perry  
Filed under David Perry

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I’ve posted an outtake of a beach ball being batted about during the recessional at the Tates Creek graduation this week. I did not turn this photo in to the editors because I felt that its use would encourage further efforts to break the decorum of graduations in the future. But, I must admit, I WOULD have turned in a photo of say, someone shooting off a Roman candle! So maybe I don’t care about decorum as much as I thought. A Roman candle would have been newsworthy because of its inherent dangerousness. It’s not the media’s responsibility as to the behavior of those we photograph. But still, I don’t know if the antics of a couple of grads that sneaked in two beach balls warrants inclusion into 100,000 homes.

In the 1970s, grads took delight in other antics like releasing live mice, or writing “cute” sayings on their mortarboards, and we, the media, ate it up. But now, I just don’t know.
Another take on promoting bad behavior came to mind also. What if I had done a sound and slide multimedia presentation of the Tates Creek graduation? The Class of 2006 specifically asked, in the program, for audience members NOT to yell and clap as names were called, as a courtesy to other grads whose names might be covered up by all the noise. Well, a significant number of, I assume, relatives and friends of the grads chose to ignore that request and yelled like crazy! So, is including THAT kind of “bad” behavior in a sound clip also just encouraging it? What do you think? Interesting, though, that both students and the adult audience chose to ignore the decorum of the occasion.

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2 Responses to “Having a Ball”
  1. JENNIFER says:

    Well, It is no shock to me that the parents and relatives of the students chose to ignore the rule. First of all, parents are the ones that are SUPPOSED to set the tone and the foundation for the students as far as discipline and behavior. Contrary to the ever-so-popular belief nowadays of plenty of extra busy parents, it is OT the teacher’s joib to teach and instill discipline and morals to their students. SO, the fact that a couple of students snuck in beach balls (harmless, yet still against the rules) does not surprise me. Neither does the fact that the adult audience chose to ignore the class of 2006’s request for silence. There will always be rule breakers and bad apples, etc. It just seems like in this day and age, there are more. Is it because we, as Americans, have such poor local, State, and Federal Role models??? Is it our very busy parents that just buy us more video games and expect tv to raise us?? Or is it because there is more media available to report bad behaviors??? WHERE IS THE GOOD???? I AM SADDENED THAT ONLY BAD BEHAVIOR SEEMS TO MAKE THE NEWS!

  2. Mark Cornelison says:

    I think the kids deserve to actually have some fun at their graduation. The occaisional beach ball, and come cheering is great. An achievement of a goal after four long years deserves some joy. I have been to many of the cities high school graduation. I actually felt sorry for some of the students (Lafayette), because their graduation just about put me to sleep as well as all the graduates. On the other hand, I felt the true joy of the graduates of Bryan Station where the students cried out in joy while parents and family cheered on their accomplishment. I realize that over reacting and cheering too loudly or too long is rude and could cause someone not to hear their name but a little cheering and a little fun is the way it should be.

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