Friday, June 06, 2008

The Baby Boomer/Generation X Line, and Graduations

I was born in 1962.

I always thought of myself as part of the Baby Boom generation. Some people draw the line that ends the Baby Boom just before that in, say, 1960, but I identify more with Boomers than Xers. Some of the reasons include a clear memory of the Moon landing and Vietnam. People just a little younger see those more as historical events. Another one is whether one remembers the death of John Lennon versus the death of Kurt Cobain as being a world-changing event. I've seen these distinctions discussed on various message boards.

Then there is a divide where kids just barely younger than mine (the youngest of which will be a high school senior next year) will have graduated five times* before their high school graduation. For those families on the older side of that divide, this seems kind of strange. For those on the younger side it is perfectly normal.

*Five graduations before high school graduation in our area include:
- Nursery School
- Kindergarten
- Elementary school
- Middle School
- Ninth Grade

Yes, after only a single year of high school, they actually graduate, because in our school district they have a separate Ninth Grade campus (mostly to keep the freshman girls away from senior boys to keep the pregnancy rate down). Heaven forbid they change buildings without a graduation ceremony to acknowledge.... changing buildings I guess.

I hear that in Europe, completing high school is not even treated as a graduation. Graduation is completion of a university degree. After that, if you get a more advanced degree, it's post-graduate education. Here in the United States these days, everything after pre-school is post-graduate work. There is a generation of kids where every event of their lives is celebrated and duly documented. If an event is not celebrated, I guess the rationale goes, it never happened.

My kids are Generation Y. A little beyond that is a whole different generation. The Celebrated Generation I guess.

If this sounds like a rant, I guess I'll just get it out in the open and be done with it. I think celebrating the little things in someone's life too much kind of spoils them. Celebrate the big things. Okay, end of rant.

For the stuff that is not so ranty, I guess file it under observations.

1 comment:

Sheila said...

Paul, that is too funny. I had the 8th grade graduation but they did that kind of thing in OK and not NY, or I'm sure David would have had one too. I'm really not sure if he did or not as it would have been during the school day and I was in another school, in another town. That's something you don't hear about much now either! As for the little celebrations, you must have forgotten about potty training! I think we will have to add you to our calling list for when James goes. : )