Education Should Change, Graduation Stay the Same

Traditional education reflects the changing of the seasons.  I have always loved that the academic year mirrors a growing season.  While a growing season culminates in a harvest, our season culminates in graduation.  Graduation is beautiful and stressful, a beginning and an end, a time for mourning, a time for reflection, a time for celebration.  The ceremony connects the present to the past, which is why it should rarely be changed.

We all can agree that any change is difficult.  A definition of stress related to natural science could be the bending of a material under conditions of change.  Our human endeavors and attitudes bend, uncomfortably so, upon conditions of change.  Yet, change is also healthy and refreshing; change revitalizes our endeavors.  And many of our educational endeavors need constant refinement, improvement, and yes, CHANGE.  If I could just waive the magic wand, I would make the curriculum more relevant and meaningful, and make the instruction more engaging and effective.  But graduation should remain the same.

When alumni attend graduation in support of a relative or friend, I want the ceremony to elicit the same emotions that they experienced upon their own graduation.  Of course, the salutatorian and valedictorian speeches change and names change, but a common rope should connect all alumni.  You have been a part of The Westfield School, and you are part of the Westfield family.

W. Carroll


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