Graduation is one of my favorite times of the year, probably because it's not an end but a new beginning. Or it might have something to do with one door closing and another door opening.
I recently had the pleasure of making the trip to Blacksburg, Va., to watch my niece receive her high school diploma and it was an interesting ceremony. They do many things differently than our traditional ceremony here at WCHS, with some things I like better and others I didn't like at all.
One thing I did like is parents are allowed on the football field and could get very close to their child to celebrate the moment. It worked very well with parents taking a few pictures and then making their way back to their seat so the next parent could see their graduate.
This allowed parents to share the joy of graduation up close and personal, instead of 500 feet away in a stadium seat. It was done in a very orderly fashion and added a more personal touch to an otherwise mechanical ceremony.
Another thing that caught my attention was the large number of gay and lesbian students who were graduating. I should emphasize that I have no problems with gay and lesbian students. You only have one life to live so you better live the way you want, provided it's within the law.
I do wonder, since there were no openly gay people in my high school or college graduating classes, how the gay community has exploded the way it has. Either all the gay people were suppressing their true feelings back in my day, or everybody is gay now because it's the hip thing to do. There's no other way to explain why this has become so common.
While it doesn't bother me at all who a person wants to kiss, I did find it confusing to try to keep up with the correct pronouns these kids expected me to use. I was totally confused when we were going out to eat after graduation about the number of people we were meeting.
My sister kept saying things like, 'They should be at the restaurant by 2 p.m.' and then added something like, 'They are punctual and won't keep us waiting.'
Naturally, I thought we were meeting a group at the restaurant but it turns out that wasn't the case at all. The 'they' that we were meeting was just one other girl who no longer wants to be referred to as 'she' and doesn't like to be called 'he' either.
For me, the request for everyone to refer to you in the plural format is very bad for communication. Language is tricky enough already. I think I say one thing and someone else hears it another way. Getting a point across can be very difficult, even when I believe I'm speaking clearly.
I don't like referring to a singular person in the plural sense because it adds an extra layer of confusion to conversation. I'm willing to accept a person can be a man or a woman, as odd as that sounds. I'm not ready to allow them to be plural.
Standard editor James Clark can be reached at 473-2191.