June 3, 2008

"...We Hail Cardinal Dougherty High!"

On the front page of today's Daily News is a story which shows how much things have changed. At 240 seniors in the 2008 class, Cardinal Dougherty graduates significantly less students than the 750 or so I graduated with, several years ago. Catholic High Schools in the city aren't as popular as they were with earlier generations.

The article explains how graduation ceremonies have turned into "shout-out" contests. As some students receive a diploma, parents feel obligated to ruin the moment by acting like they are at a homecoming game. Per the Daily News article, blow horns are sometimes used to celebrate some graduates' achievement.

It might be understandable if the ceremony were held at the old Convention Center where I graduated or Villanova'a basketball stadium as in years past. But recent graduations were held at the Basilica of St. Peter and Paul - a place where blow horns should never be used.

As usual these days, the parents have lost their minds. One parent thought about a class-action lawsuit against the school because they considered changing the graduation ceremony to only recognize honor students on stage. I can't imagine my mother thinking of legal action because her son couldn't walk on stage. Besides, at 750, we didn't even get the honor of hearing our names called - it just would have taken forever.

But in an American Idol age, this story shouldn't come as a surprise. The spoiled brats today's parents are raising (excluding my own of course) just aren't satisfied unless they get their own 15 minutes of fame.

Thanks to the Daily News, they surely have it now. Although not exactly as they had hoped.


JB said...

Go cardinals!

Ralph said...

I agree with your sentiments. I read the article and was appalled that anyone would blow air horns or hoot & holler inside a Catholic Church. There is a name for this new generation, “The millennials”. These are the children that do not have “RED” marks on their school test or will not be told “No” but will be corrected with only positive expressions. As you know, when you played Rec ball, you would get a small trophy or plaques for being on the team but if you were outstanding or the best batter or scorer, you would get the big trophy. But now, every kid who plays on the team gets the same size trophy. Even today’s parents are out of control at these park league games. I coached eight and nine year old basketball and not only did I manage my team but I had to manage the unruly and sometimes outrages behavior of the parents. I lived in Philly all my life and I remember hanging on the corner, drinking and listening to the radio. If a guy came out and asked us to turn down the music or the overall noise we were making, we would move or tone it down. I went out the back to ask these kids that were drinking and being loud if they could move and they told me to F off. I asked again and was told to go away (stronger terms used). My first thought was to go back in the house and get a bat, but I just told them that I was calling the police. To this day I don’t know where they lived or if they were from the neighborhood. They finally left and I had to do this several times before they decided that this idiot wasn’t going away and wouldn’t let them have their fun. It's not getting any better and I believe that it all starts in the home. Respect is sadly missing in a lot of teens and parents I've come across in my area.