Sunday, May 17, 2009

Observations From Meyer's Preschool Graduation

Meyer graduated from pre-kindergarten Friday. The members of the graduating class were professionally photographed in caps and gowns prior to commencement, but these adornments were not used in the actual ceremony. They were just a means of raising the question, "How can you not spend $20 on a picture of your five-year-old in a cap and gown holding a diploma?"

While the Presbyterian preschool that my kids had attended prior to this academic year rarely acknowledged its religious affiliation, at the United Methodist preschool from which Meyer graduated, Bible stories and verses were an integral part of the curriculum and the commencement ceremony. From what I can gather, the Bible is one of two pillars of early childhood education at _____ United Methodist Church preschool. The other is phonics.

As each child received his or her diploma, he or she could approach the microphone and announce his or her future plans. Meyer said that he was going to be a fireman. He was supposed to have said "rock star." ("Boy, I didn't raise you to be no fireman. Now get in there and practice your guitar.") The most common career aspirations were doctor and athlete—specifically basketball player, gymnast, and race car driver.

As the tallest boy in the class approached the microphone, I said to myself, "If he doesn't say 'basketball player,' I'll be disappointed." He didn't say "basketball player, but I wasn't disappointed. He said, "I'm going to be a robot when I grow up." You know that kid got ice cream on Friday afternoon.


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