Humor: Top 5 banned graduation ceremony celebrations

While Tim Tebow was preparing for life as the New York Jets backup quarterback, a Florida high school senior was striking the iconic pose of the former Gators QB.

After a $5 bet, Chuck Shriner dropped to one knee in faux-prayer during Bishop Verot Catholic High’s graduation ceremony. While the upcoming Central Florida freshman thought it was funny, his mother, a math teacher at the school, and BVCHS’s principal did not find it amusing.

Shriner was forced to clean the gymnasium, where the ceremony was held, before he could receive his diploma. The punishment for Tebowing was the suggestion of his mother. I hope those five bucks were worth it.

Each year, graduates attempt to “do something memorable” at the ceremony. By “do something memorable,” they usually mean embarrass their family and cause the school to wonder how it was they actually graduated.

So, Tebowing is out. You can add all of these to the list as well. Here are the top 5 banned graduation ceremony celebrations.

Graduation celebration photo from by Harrison Keely

5. Redneck yelling – While this may be a predominately Southern thing, there are plenty of rednecks in other parts of the United States. This is the classic, at least from all the graduations I’ve been to, and is the only celebration on our list that involves audience members more than the actual graduates. They call the persons name and it is immediately followed by one of two things – several people, usually women, screaming in unison “We love you!” or a good ol’ fashioned “Whoooooo!”

This has to be banned because it gets old fast. When someone starts it early, like in the last names that start with “B,” you know it’s going to be a loud ceremony. I think families feel their graduate will not feel adequately appreciated unless they walk across the stage blushing from embarrassment at their screaming loved ones. I assure you, they will be just fine with you not screaming at them, as long as you get them a good gift (not one of the top 5 worst graduation gifts).

4. Planking, Owling, Whatever-ing – So, I take it you are a mime. What else am I supposed to assume when you decide to pantomime your stage celebration? If you could couple this with redneck yelling, maybe then you would have a multimedia spectacle worthy of being “something memorable.” Until then, paint your face white and move to France. You’re a mime.

Besides, you aren’t going to be able to keep up with the rapidly changing internet meme factor. Sure, you know that planking and owling are “so, late 2011,” but whatever thing you think is new and fresh will either be old and worn out or weird and creepy. If I had to pick, I would go old and worn out. That label can be gotten rid of when you go off to college. If you’re weird and creepy that’ll stay with you well past your college years. Stay away from weird and creepy – a life lesson for us all.

3. Professing your unrequited love – I understand class valedictorian nerd. I feel for you, trapped in high school with all the cool kids and the jocks. You know that one day you are going to create the next Facebook or do some other geeky thing that will earn you billions of dollars. Then, the homecoming queen cheerleader will regret not going out with you. It’s going to happen. I have nerdy faith in you, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

Right now, no one else knows how ingenuous your internet idea is. Right now, you are simply the class nerd who got a full-ride to Prestigious U. Be that. Live that. Enjoy that. Don’t blurt out how much you’ve dreamed about dating that girl. It’s not going to end well. I don’t care what happened in that movie you saw one time. Trust me. Stand down. Stand. Down.

2. Playing your own entrance music – Maybe, it’s just the wrestling fan in me, but I’ve always wanted to walk out to my own theme song. Could you not see this happening at a graduation ceremony? A student is running the sound board, you give them $20 and a CD to play when they call your name. Instant legend. Well, besides the fact that you have just outed yourself as a wrestling fan, which may be lower on the high school totem pole than class nerd.

Obviously, the video of it will make it to YouTube. You’ll be an internet sensation, which means people will tweet about you for a couple of days and then no one will remember in a week, except your friends, who will make fun of you for the rest of your life for picking a stupid song. One day, your kids will see it and think two things: “I had a weird dad” and “Wow, that music is really old.” Then you’ll have to ground them. Save your future kid from a future grounding, don’t try to be CM Punk at your graduation.

1. Live tweeting – I get it. You love social media. I’m right there with you – doing the Twitter and Facebook thing. Interacting with friends from real life and online. You enjoy it. Great. But put the iPhone down. None of your followers need to know in real time exactly what you are feeling as you walk across the stage.

Sure the 75 friends, 33 spam bots and 11 creepy stalkers who follow you will be super impressed that as a graduate you have the ability to tweet and walk across a stage at the same time. But none of them are waiting by their computers or smart phones to read: OMG. I’m graduating rite now. Wish my family would stop redneck screaming, so I can hear them play my theme song: Call Me Maybe! (-:


What’s the strangest thing you’ve seen at a graduation ceremony? Did you attempt to “do something memorable” at yours?

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Aaron Earls

Christian. Husband. Daddy. Writer. Online editor for Facts & Trends Magazine. Fan of quick wits, magical wardrobes, brave hobbits, time traveling police boxes & Blue Devils.