HORRAY for mediocrity!!!

16 Jun

Brad left for tour a week ago, kicking and screaming (and I mean that almost literally).  He’s recently developed a severe phobia of flying- and add to that the fact that it’s been ages since he’s been on tour, so he’s grown a little too comfortable being at home and didn’t want to go “back to work”.  I lovingly shoved him out of the car at the airport, told him to go earn a goddamn paycheck- and it’s been me and Sully flying solo.  I’ve got no problems doing the single-mom-thing while Brad is away (I did it before Brad was in the picture, so I slip back into that role with ease).  And there are perks- like less Man-mess infiltrating my clean home.  But this month was a pretty shitty month for Brad to go earn his paycheck.

He had to leave a few days before Sully’s birthday- which Brad was BUMMED about.  And in 2 days, Sully’s school year ends and then it’s a couple weeks of “what the fuck am I going to do with this kid while I’m at work!!” stress.  But my parents (being the AMAZING people that they are) are coming out for a week to hang with the little fella while I work- so that lightens my load considerably.  And the folks are coming into town just in time for Sully’s “Graduation”.

Here’s where the title of this little posting comes into play.  Sully is moving from the 5th grade into the 6th grade.  As proud of him as I am that he survived another year of existing in the academic world- does this really warrant a “graduation”???

This is one of the MANY examples of why the youth of our country are growing up to be spoiled lazy brats- and things like this drive me fucking batty.  Going from the 5th to the 6th grade is not a ceremonious accomplishment… it is a social expectation.  Ceremonies are supposed to be special things, marking a major life accomplishment, or a rite of passage.  Graduating from high school is the embarking of adulthood.  Graduating from college is the beginning of new major life paths and the celebration of a difficult accomplishment.  Weddings, funerals, birthdays, baby showers, etc… these are all ritualistic ceremonies that celebrate the beginning or finalizing of different important stages in life.

The problem is when we start having ceremonies for simple and expected behavior, then nothing is sacred anymore.  When children are praised, rewarded, and put on a pedestal for doing things that are simply expected of them- then why work harder for that higher goal?  Kids are SUPPOSED to move from the 5th to the 6th grade.  This isn’t something that deserves a fucking ceremony- it’s something that a kid should just DO.  We’re not supposed to shit our pants, either… so should I get a round of applause every time I don’t shit my pants?  No… because I’m EXPECTED to not shit my pants.  But it’s cute to dress our kids up in little hats and robes, and it’s precious to parade them across a stage and give them little computer-print-out diplomas and make a little event out of it.  But in reality, it’s celebrating the mundane- and tainting the specialness of REAL accomplishments that are deserving of a ceremony.  And what it teaches our kids is that all they have to do is the bare minimum- and they’ll get a fucking party. Total bullshit.

But yes… I’m attending Sully’s little “graduation” because it would be ultra shitty of me to be the only parent not there because I see the ridiculousness of it all.  But no, we’re no making a big thing of it, or inviting all the family, or having a party afterwards.  When he graduates from high school and college- both of those will be deserving of festivities.  But moving on to the 6th grade?  Gimme a break.  This is deserving of a special “end of the school year” trip to the ice cream parlor…. NOT a god damn ceremony.

On a lighter note… there are 2 gallery shows that I’m currently in that if you’re in the neighborhood you should go and check out.  First is the current exhibit at the Strychnin Gallery in Berlin, Germany titled “Midsummer’s Night Madness”.  It opened a couple days ago, and there are TONS of artists that participated.  You can check out pics of the opening night on their official blog HERE.

The second show I’m in is in Brooklyn at the Eastern District.  The show is titled “Plenty of Room on the Couch”, and again there are TONS of artists in this show.  AND all the pieces in the show are under $300!!!  I’m super giggly about this show because my pieces are in another show with the diabolical Steve Smith– a glorious fella and amazingly talented artist that I’ve had a show with before (and we’ve been aching to show together again).  Click on his highlighted name above and check out the wonderful things he does.

Finally… I’m doing oodles of “Tinys” drawings again.  If you’re unfamaliar with these little guys, they are drawings no bigger than 3 inches by 3 inches.  They come framed in tiny ornate frames- and they make me giggle.  I’ve got a few on the webstore– and there are more to come.  Here’s a couple of these little guys…..

Tiny Oops! There goes my hand!

Tiny Hauntings

Tiny Hauntings

That’s all the love I’ve got to give for tonight.  Off to vaccume the house, and make some cookies for my folks arrival tomorrow afternoon, then more drawing drawing drawing.

Go-Go-Gadget hugs to you all!


18 Responses to “HORRAY for mediocrity!!!”

  1. Candice June 16, 2009 at 10:24 pm #

    Both my older brothers went to a private school for kindergarten and they had a graduation ceremony upon completion of their first year. A KINDERGARTEN graduation! What’s to celebrate? The ability to finger paint? I’m pretty sure my parents had to beg me to attend my own high school graduation and I haven’t gone to any of my college ceremonies. Why should I sit for three hours only to spend 1.5 minutes walking across a stage (and with all those people staring at me no less!) for a piece of paper that could be mailed to me?

    I don’t get these weird social things. I guess this isn’t odd considering how weird and socially awkward I am! 🙂

    • Kristen Ferrell June 16, 2009 at 10:31 pm #

      I didn’t go to my college graduation, either. But it was only because it was about 102 degrees outside in the steamy Kansas heat… and I drop like a corpse when I get overheated. So I wasn’t going to endure hours of standing in the heat in a floor length long sleeved polyester cloak and hat (and I wasn’t going to inflict that on the ones I love, either). So I put on my cap & gown in my front yard long enough for my folks to take a few photos- and then we had a BBQ at my house and got drunk instead.

      But yes… the kiddie graduation is FULLY retarded. I’m not going to spoil it for Sully- but I’ll be rolling my eyes every time he’s not looking.

  2. hayley June 16, 2009 at 10:36 pm #

    I loved your post title “Hooray for Mediocrity!”
    I’ve also noticed the mentality of parents that praise their kid for every little thing they do. It’s kinda funny, and degrading at the same time. I agree with you, if kids are praised like hell for every little thing, what else will motivate them?
    On the graduation related note, I can understand the kindergarden, and junior high graduations but 5th grade to 6th grade? What the hell? Is Sully going to a middle school where it’s 6-8? That would be the only sensible explanation.
    I don’t even think schools should hold graduation until high school. There’s so much stress and craziness for weeks and months leading up to it; for kids and parents alike. I had my hs graduation last week, and I felt badass afterwards but really exhausted because of all the planning. Who the hell wants to go through that every year?

    • Kristen Ferrell June 16, 2009 at 11:05 pm #

      Yeah… Sully does start middle school in 6th grade out here. But I’m still calling bullshit on it- because it doesn’t signify anything! It doesn’t mean some massive and important milestone in his life (unless you think getting a locker is a milestone- but I don’t).
      I’m all for being a super supportive and encouraging parent- but there is an appropriate way to do this. And making a glorified event out of EVERY. FUCKING. THING. just isn’t the way to do it. To throw a little class party on the last day of school… yes. To have a ceremony…. no. It’s ridiculous.

      But graduating high school… that IS something to celebrate in a ceremonious way. And you should be 100% proud of yourself!!!
      YAY FOR HAYLEY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • whitney June 18, 2009 at 10:21 am #

      awww, you graduated! yay!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i’m gonna have to send you some cupcakes with little graduation hats on it, haha.

      btw- you’re a horrible pen pal. 😉

  3. myshinyhell June 17, 2009 at 6:23 am #

    I totally agree with you, K. What’s the big deal? We never had a “5th to 6th grade” graduation. We didn’t even have an “8th grade into high school” graduation. I am bothered by this trend for all of the same reasons you are. If you make everything special, then nothing is special.

    Have fun with your family and I hope Brad is back and ready to clean house with you (I can dream, right?) really soon. xoxoxoxoxoxoxo.

    • Kristen Ferrell June 18, 2009 at 10:39 pm #

      There’s this massive swollen concern over the “emotional support of the children”. As much as I am 100% down for the emotional support of children- praising them for every god damn thing they do doesn’t help them. Our jobs as parents are to set them up for the REAL WORLD. And in the real world, they aren’t going to get a praise parade when they simply function. And why would they strive to bigger and better things if they get the same amount of praise for simply functioning?
      PLUS it’s insulting to the children who actually DO put in the effort and achieve major goals. Why should the average get the same amount of praise as the excellent? It’s ridiculous.

      And we’ll see just how much Brad will help with the clean house when he gets home. We can cross our fingers- but I feel that it will be in vain. 😉

  4. whitney June 18, 2009 at 10:20 am #

    i remember having that ceremony. but it was from 6th grade going into 7th, cause i stayed in elementary one more year instead of moving onto middle school. it was total bullshit and i was even more pissed cause i had to wear a dress in front of all my guy friends. haha. but yeah, it’s pretty meaningless and almost a slap in the face….. cause ya know, going into middle school is something everyone should be excited about… cause it totally blows! i’m sure sully will do great though! … but as for me, i fucking hated it. hah.
    and i expect to get some of those cookies youre baking. only cause i didn’t shit my pants today. 🙂

    • Kristen Ferrell June 18, 2009 at 10:39 pm #

      I didn’t shit my pants today, either.
      Let’s eat cookies and pat each other on the back.

  5. nicole June 18, 2009 at 4:44 pm #

    totally funny that you posted this because earlier today i was talking to my aunt &she mentioned my cousin just had his ‘graduation’– from 3rd grade. uhh, what is that?! 3rd grade? seriously? so, to illustrate how much this celebration of mediocrity fucks with kids’ heads, my little cousin asked me if i could come out to his graduation new hampshire.. i live in michigan. ughh, talk about a guilt-trip.. literally. anywho, i’m not going, but damn, whoever you are, miss 3rd grade teacher, you make me feel like i’m missing some big achievement in this kid’s life!

    PS. brad’s a-comin’ to town on july 1st! if i get a chance, i’ll have to introduce myself as the cat lady who has sluggo’s evil twin.

    • Kristen Ferrell June 18, 2009 at 10:45 pm #

      EXACTLY!!!! Even though I felt this ceremony for Sully’s grade was totally nuts- I still had to go because Sully doesn’t know it’s nuts. And if I tried to explain to him how silly it all is- it would just cause hurt feelings. So parents and loved ones are forced to participate in the madness out of guilt.

      And yes… you should introduce yourself to Brad! I’ve shown him the photos of your Sluggo doppelganger. He’ll be please to talk cats with you.

  6. nicole June 18, 2009 at 4:45 pm #

    PPS. damn! you were not lying, steve smith is a looker!! =)

    • Kristen Ferrell June 18, 2009 at 10:46 pm #

      Yes…. yes he is.
      And an A+ person, as well.
      We like him lots.

  7. christine June 18, 2009 at 6:26 pm #

    I didn’t go to my college graduation since there really isnt anything to celebrate. getting licensed is a big deal, not passing ONE part of the requirements for it.

    I knew kids in my high school who were getting cars are a graduation present…I was so confused, its not like it was a huge feat for many of them to graduate. I was told congrats, now get a better job! grrr..

    there are some new goodies coming your way soon!! fresh from the ‘mouths of babes’..haha get it..

  8. haley June 18, 2009 at 7:59 pm #

    I thought that was silly, too. You also get to “graduate” from middle school. My “diploma” said “Congradulations on completeing middle school” Big fucking deal.

    Poor Sully. Middle school is the WORST. He’ll make it through, though. He’s a smart kid.

  9. Andrea Jay June 22, 2009 at 2:35 pm #

    “a praise parade when they simply function” pretty much sums it all up. i totally agree, my schools never had that stuff either, i had one cap and gown celebration when i graduated from hight school, but my wonderful parents knowing full well how much i hated high school didnt make me go. and i LOVE LOVE LOVE the tinys.

  10. Butcherbaby August 5, 2009 at 4:16 am #

    i can totally attest to how damaging it is when you get praised for everything you do. i have friends whose parents were really dysfunctional in one way or another who probably are thinking “fuck you at least your parents loved you” when i talk about it, but to my mom neither my brother or i could do not wrong and the least little scribble or fart was treated like the works of leonardo da vinci. i am not really exaggerating much here. i wouldn’t have been surprised if i took a crap on a piece of paper and my mom had framed it. even as a little kid i knew when something i did was mediocre, and to be praised for it like i was a genius who just created a masterpiece made all further praise meaningless, whether what i did was good or not. and the other side of the coin was my dad, who under other circumstances would have been great at constructive criticism, went overboard in the other direction to try to balance out my mom’s indiscriminate praise. it really fucked with me FOR YEARS….and then they wondered how someone from such a loving home could end up such a freak (in their opinion punks only came from “broken homes”.) i find that funny. they had taught me that neither their approval or disapproval of what i did was genuine, so when i started finding my own way, why should i give a shit what they thought?

  11. NoGraduashun4ME November 25, 2009 at 8:22 pm #

    I’m so glad I found your post – I’m trying to shovel against the rising tide of complete imbeciles who think it is not only appropriate but necessary to spend $4,000 for 5th grade “graduation” bullshit, and expect me to hand over $40 bucks so my kid can have the experience of an evening party with a DJ for entertainment, and a “reception” after the ceremony, and a Yearbook and a DVD, etc, etc. How about a handshake from the teacher, a pat on the back and a hoodsie outside on the very expensive playground equipment I contributed to and lets hold the congratulations until we do something that really deserves recognition!

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