Did he make the right choice?...

Incogneato

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Feb 9, 2011
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The school should have allowed him more time do say it in both languages and not forced him to pick.

I don't agree with his choice to pick Spanish if it was specifically aimed at his parents, becuase he can tell his parents how he feels any time he wants...you do not gather the entire graduating class very often do you?

This 62% number that keeps getting thrown around is bothering me also. The community might be 62% spanish speaking, but the entire community did not attend that high school, nor was the entire community there at the graduation, so you cannot possibly know what percent of people there understood which language.

@singledad

Graduation is a huge part of a teenagers life, and missing out on that speech, which is part of their graduation which they earned the right to hear and understand, seems wrong to me. In my opinion it's not about one group deserving more respect, it's about the fact that those who understood English only were left out due to the school's refusal to accomodate.
 

singledad

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Oct 26, 2009
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Incogneato said:
Graduation is a huge part of a teenagers life, and missing out on that speech, which is part of their graduation which they earned the right to hear and understand, seems wrong to me. In my opinion it's not about one group deserving more respect, it's about the fact that those who understood English only were left out due to the school's refusal to accomodate.
Ok, so basically it is seen as being more important than I imagined. Ok. Like I said - I don't understand the social background, so perhaps I should stay out of the entire debate...
 

Incogneato

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Feb 9, 2011
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I don't think you should stay out of it, I was simply trying to explain my point of view and perhaps clarify the level of importance some people put on that event (the speech) or even the graduation as a whole.
 

mom2many

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Jul 3, 2008
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Incogneato said:
The school should have allowed him more time do say it in both languages and not forced him to pick.

I don't agree with his choice to pick Spanish if it was specifically aimed at his parents, becuase he can tell his parents how he feels any time he wants...you do not gather the entire graduating class very often do you?

This 62% number that keeps getting thrown around is bothering me also. The community might be 62% spanish speaking, but the entire community did not attend that high school, nor was the entire community there at the graduation, so you cannot possibly know what percent of people there understood which language.

@singledad

Graduation is a huge part of a teenagers life, and missing out on that speech, which is part of their graduation which they earned the right to hear and understand, seems wrong to me. In my opinion it's not about one group deserving more respect, it's about the fact that those who understood English only were left out due to the school's refusal to accomodate.

The school I believe had a class that was largely Hispanic also. Like I said the complaints really weren't within the school. It was more in the media and you can imagine which direction it went there. Even other message boards have taken it that way.

It's also funny cause most people who felt the speech was for the class were the very same people who couldn't remember who their valedictorian was or what the speech was about. Most parents of graduates (myself included) also said they were only really concerned with their child and barely paid attention to the speeches.

Like I said, I don't see this as the students failure. He was true to himself. I see this as the schools failure.
 

mom2many

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Jul 3, 2008
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singledad said:
Ok, so basically it is seen as being more important than I imagined. Ok. Like I said - I don't understand the social background, so perhaps I should stay out of the entire debate...
Quite the opposite! You bring a perspective that is very different from what we believe. It's good to hear the other side.
 

singledad

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Oct 26, 2009
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mom2many said:
Quite the opposite! You bring a perspective that is very different from what we believe. It's good to hear the other side.
Lol. This is just all so foreign to me. Firstly, the idea of not even having a vague understanding of at least one extra language just seems weird. Secondly, attaching that much importance to a speech... here, I don't think highschools even have a graduation ceremony. They just publish the results in the papers, and then you go and collect your certificate (or have it mailed to you). People celebrate privately with their friends and families...
 

IADad

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Feb 23, 2009
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singledad said:
Lol. This is just all so foreign to me. Firstly, the idea of not even having a vague understanding of at least one extra language just seems weird. Secondly, attaching that much importance to a speech... here, I don't think highschools even have a graduation ceremony. They just publish the results in the papers, and then you go and collect your certificate (or have it mailed to you). People celebrate privately with their friends and families...
Yes, your right, and to be fair most American's do know some Spanish. I myself can order a cold beer without hesitation. But I don't think ability to order "Numero Dos and uno Cervesa fria." would have served me very well hearing the speech. In fact most of the people I know who "studied" Spanish in High School seem to only be able to ask where a bathroom or library are. By the way, I can also order beer in German and Czech. Anybopdy want to travel Europe with me?

That's interesting about graduation ceremonies. They're a pretty big deal here. Since a lot of your practices come out of European culture, it makes me wonder if the same is true there?

To our European posters (I know there are a few around....) are high school graduations accompanied by ceremonies or just private celebration?
 

cybele

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Feb 27, 2012
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Well, i'm not European, but theyre pretty unimportant here too.

They just do a little 15min presentation at my kid's school (calling everyone's names up and announcing their achievments while they were at the school... my kids go to a tiny school so it doesn't go for very long at all, there are only 12 kids in the graduating class this year, haha) everyone claps, then the graduating kids and their parents go to a nice dinner thing. Then the school Dux (valedictorian) from the prior year wishes them luck and we hear about what they are doing (Dux isn't revealed here until after school is long over)

No one really looks forward to it, it's just a bit of fun.
 

Jeremy+3

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Apr 18, 2009
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IADad said:
Yes, your right, and to be fair most American's do know some Spanish. I myself can order a cold beer without hesitation. But I don't think ability to order "Numero Dos and uno Cervesa fria." would have served me very well hearing the speech. In fact most of the people I know who "studied" Spanish in High School seem to only be able to ask where a bathroom or library are. By the way, I can also order beer in German and Czech. Anybopdy want to travel Europe with me?

That's interesting about graduation ceremonies. They're a pretty big deal here. Since a lot of your practices come out of European culture, it makes me wonder if the same is true there?

To our European posters (I know there are a few around....) are high school graduations accompanied by ceremonies or just private celebration?
In the UK you only graduate from university.
 

NancyM

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Jul 2, 2010
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My son graduated in 2009 with a class of 655 students. I'm not sure if that's very large or not, but we sat outside in the football field in 98 degrees for 3 hours. :eek: The speeches seemed endless to me, but it's part of the ceremony and it really doesn't matter what I like or not.

I would have been proud of my son if he spoke in pig Latin to be honest.lol (which by the way is the second language of most of us Americans lol) however if I was one of the hot spectators sitting in the sun for the last few hours I may have been annoyed by it. (even though I shouldn't be)

I think it goes both ways. I suppose the school should have let him speak a little of both languages, but maybe the boy should have thought about it on his own and remember that some of his fellow graduates, class mates and other people in the audience might not understand what the heck he's saying, or maybe he really didn't care. ?

I'm sure if I was there, I might have thought some of those things, but I never would have said them out loud, I probably would have been teary eyed - and thought he was a great kid for being brave enough to to stand up in front of an audience and thoughtful enough of his parents to speak to them in their language. They must have been so proud of him. awww. ;)
 

Bottlelover

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Jun 1, 2012
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I always find this issue interesting and still can't seem to find the right answer. It's a tough one.
 

John446

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Jan 11, 2013
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I do not believe he made the right choice. As the child of an immigrant, who as a child spoke English and the other language, I would have never in my life imagined not doing this speech in English. I think this is one of the things that differentiates various immigrant groups. Some seem to assimilate much more than others.

And I do believe that people should be versed in more than one language, heck, I am, but I do not believe that those people should attempt to change or reconfigure the nation. Whether there is a national language or not, there is a common language, and its one that is at the very core of the nation.

Other nations do not face a threat to that in the way that the US does. While I may be wrong, I dont think that the Germans, or French, or Greeks, or Italians, are facing any significant threat that the language spoken in their country may change.
 

luvsmrtme

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May 14, 2013
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