Did you ever have a pet rock when you were a kid? The ones with the googly eyes on them? The ones that, if you kept it long enough, had the one eye that would get stuck and just stare at you while the other eye freely moved around and stared at whatever the heck it wanted to?
For whatever reason, my end-of-the-school-year fevered brain saw googly eyes when I took this photo. And I thought, “Great Googly Moogly!”
That phrase, googly moogly, has been ringing around my head lately. Maybe because I’m sitting in the middle of the convocation of the twelfth graduating class of my career. Maybe because, once again, I’m watching some amazing human beings walk across that stage and out of sight into a life they’ve not yet even dreamed of and I, once again, will have the summer off and do this jamboree all over again next year. Maybe because I like antiquated and ridiculous phrases (I have been known to say “gravy” instead of great, “cool beans” when I’m happy with things and speak Mandalorian phrases with some of my geekiest students). Maybe because, every once in a while, silly things must be shouted at the top of one’s lungs.
It doesn’t matter. GREAT GOOGLY MOOGLY!
I wonder when it was that we (let’s say North American society) decided that it was essential to celebrate all things with “anniversaries” and “graduations.” As a high school teacher I get to hear about the one month anniversary between students so often that I’ve stopped pointing out that “anniversary” actually means something to which one returns on a yearly basis.
I’ve also encountered at least one (my daughter) kindergarten graduation with another one (my son) on the way this June. Not that I don’t find joy in the milestones of my children but a graduation is the act of conferring on someone a degree. I know that it’s a beautiful thing to see a bunch of six year olds smiling as their moms take bad photos of them singing some cute rendition of a song that has little to do with “graduating” and everything to do with being cute, but it feels a little like we want to attach gravitas to everything we do.
Can’t we just take joy in something that is wonderful without tacking on a weighty title? Can’t we just love what we do and see and leave it at that? Why is it not important enough that my son is moving from kindergarten to grade one that we have to make it a “graduation?” Why can’t my students make their way from one class to another without some kind of iTunes soundtrack making their lives into a living t.v. show? Why is it that we take the “pomp”out of everything by attaching “circumstance” to anything? Did that last sentence even make sense? I don’t know, but I certainly feel like we’re trying to make every moment in our lives bigger than it actually is. But, hey, this is just one little blogger sharing his ideas with you. What do I know?
Pentax K20D; Pentax DA 18-55mm AL II; f8; ISO 100; 1/320 sec.