Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Everyone (Doesn't) Graduate from High School


I was back in the computer aided drafting class I'd been in all month. The teacher was stuck on jury duty. Let me repeat: FOR OVER A MONTH!

It was again Wednesday advisory. This day's big announcement was about picture day. As most of the students hadn't been at the school for the last picture day, I gave them a brief overview of how it would go.

Lucas wanted to know what would happen if he ditched school that day. (Some students I am totally not surprised to find at the continuation high school. Lucas practically announced he was going to end up here.)

It turned out the issue was Lucas didn't want to take the traditional cap and gown picture. Why not? He didn't want to celebrate getting a high school diploma. "Everyone graduates from high school," he complained.

Um, no, Lucas, they don't.

I was at one of the other schools the previous school year. It was one of those days where my assignment disappeared, so the office gave me busy work to do. On this day the busy work was stamping transcripts.

I wasn't paying close attention to the transcripts. I found an empty spot, and I'd stamp them as "official". After a while, I noticed that some of the transcripts didn't have "graduation" on it. Instead of "class of", the transcript just kind of ended. That's when I realized. These were the students who didn't graduate.

Most of the transcripts were for graduates. But there were several where the student did not finish.

Not everyone graduates from high school.

I attempted to tell Lucas this. He wasn't hearing me. He had moved on.

But what I found sad was that he wasn't thinking that earning a high school diploma was an accomplishment. Because it is. It is an accomplishment denied to some.

32 comments:

  1. Hopefully he does graduate - then he'll realize the value.

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  2. There's still time for him to change his mind. I found graduating HS to be one of the best moments of my life. Later down the road when I graduated college and looked at the price tag for the ceremony, I was "nah, I've paid enough" and just had the diploma mailed to me. Thanks for visiting me! :0

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    1. I was totally going to skip my college graduation, but family from out of town decided to attend. I kind of got stuck going.

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  3. That's an interesting take Lucas has. I know some very successful people who haven't gone through the traditional school system, but I don't think their reasoning was Lucas'.

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  4. Lucas has no idea about the jobs that will be denied to him. Unless he is brilliant and can skip through to world success experience, he will be at the drive-through window of some fast food place.

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    1. It sounded to me like he considered graduation a foregone conclusion. I hope he does make it.

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  5. *raises hand* I did not graduate from high school I want to, but circumstances stopped me. I later got my GED. Not graduating high school was one of my biggest insecurities for years, even after I got my GED. Lucas has no idea how privileged and fortunate and lucky he is.

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    1. typo...oops. That should read: school. I wanted to, but

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    2. I'm glad you did get your GED. This was what I was trying to tell Lucas. Things happen. Considering where he ended up, I'm surprised he thinks it's a foregone conclusion.

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  6. That must be a big trial. And you can't tell someone something when they don't want to listen. A lot of people are like that.

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  7. Very true that not everyone does graduate from high school. Here's hoping that Lucas realizes what an accomplishment it is sooner, rather than later.

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  8. I've recently seen a trailer for "Night School" that's about a guy who quit high school and decided he later needed to get his GED. Surprisingly, there's quite a few people I know who didn't graduate. My mom was one. My co-worker is another. My cousin Monte is another. It sounds like Lucas is more of my cousin's strain, where he didn't feel like finishing rather than quitting in order to work to earn money to support their family.

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    1. I saw that trailer. I even read about the movie in a fall movie preview. It's more common than people think.

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  9. I wonder if Lucas is giving himself an excuse in the event he doesn't graduate. I wish him the best.

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  10. He'll have to get his diploma from the School of Hard Knocks - the school that charges a tuition he can't comprehend yet. But he will. Alana ramblinwitham.blogspot.com

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  11. He has no clue and may not think highly of himself. I wonder if you told him the number that did not graduate, if that would make a difference...if you could say the number, that is.

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    1. I didn't keep count. If I had, I would have totally told him. I doubt he would have believed me, though.

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  12. I may be wrong, but I thought (or heard somewhere) that a diploma is better than getting a GED down the line. That means a lot (graduating) on resumes, job applications, etc. That's why I literally prayed for son to pass to graduate (and he barely did so) because I knew how important that diploma, Hopefully Lucas will come to see that is the case too!

    betty

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  13. In a way its good to be detached and less awesome about accomplishments... It helps us be grounded. So I am proud of him!

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    1. Grounded is good. Apathetic... Of course, that's the problem that led to him ending up at this school in the first place.

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  14. I remember skipping out on my senior photo because I had just changed schools and didn't think anyone would care if my picture was in the yearbook or not. Fortunately, I did make friends that year. Now that I'm old, I regret that I was so camera-shy. I wish I had more pictures to share with my kids of my teens and twenties.

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  15. I hope somehow, some way, someday he learns some gratitude for life's opportunities. ~nods~ Of course I took it for granted at that age, going so far as to feel sorry for myself that I couldn't afford college. But now I'm retired early and loving life. Thank you for this thoughtful post. Be well!

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    1. Maybe if whatever crap he's going through clears up... Clearly there are outside-of-school issues clouding his outlook. I hope he's able to overcome them.

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  16. Do they not have the option to just skip the pictures? That seems kind of silly to force them to do the pictures. Hopefully he'll figure out that graduating is a big deal. I didn't graduate; the result of very, very bad home schooling, and I still hate the fact that I have a GED, not a high school diploma.

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    1. They want them to take pictures for their school IDs. Otherwise... Yeah, they can't force them to sit for pictures. And students could ditch.

      These comments are showing me just how many don't actually graduate. I really need to show this to Lucas. (Alas, he was absent today.)

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  17. One of my kids left school before graduation because he had an apprenticeship. He now earns more than all my other kids (3 of whom have a university degree profession). It's not the end of the world if you have a goal of some kind. I know that's not what this post was about... it's just an observation.

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    1. This is true. And you're right. These comments are demonstrating my point. There are so many paths, and not all of them lead through a high school diploma.

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  18. I admit to being kind of like Lucas at that point in my life. I had literally never met anyone who didn't graduate high school. I'd heard of the concept of course, usually in terms of "high school dropout".

    Mostly, by the time graduation finally arrived, I was just tired of the high school scene. I never fit in, didn't like my school, and was desperate to move on. BUT, we had fun with the day itself.

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    1. Oh, I was so done with my high school class by graduation. I know what you mean.

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  19. Might be some life lessons coming his way very soon!

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  20. True not everyone graduates (for a variety of reasons) though I really wasn't all that woohoo about graduation. It wasn't a big deal for me personally or feel like a huge accomplishment. We all have things that do it for us or don't, I guess.

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