Keeping the house, the kids and the hubby without breaking the bank, the earth, the people I love, or myself.

8th Grade Graduation in Ontario

Is a very big deal. I guess we can file this under “Things that have caused me cultural shock” in moving from Ohio to Ontario.

I honestly thought my daughter simply wanted to play dress-up when she insisted she had to have a formal gown for 8th grade graduation here. (By the way it’s referred to as “grade 8” here and not “8th grade” as I’m accustomed to. I’ll just say whatever I please.) I called a few people and sure enough, it’s a formal event. (They should include this in a book for Americans who move here.)

8th grade grad in Ohio is marked by school letting out and all the standard rumours about high school teachers who are either treacherous or drunk or off-the-wall or sitting-in-the-art-room-sink crazy (if you went to high school in Windham, Ohio, you know the story.) Completing 8th grade was the same as completing any other grade besides 12th. It was a nonevent. We didn’t get a “certificate of graduation” from 8th grade. We got our report cards and a boot out the junior-high doors.

Here, they mark 8th grade graduation with a certificate ceremony, an awards ceremony, speeches, formal dinner, formal dance and if you attend Catholic school, mass. I’m hearing stories of other parents renting limo’s for their kids to go to the graduation ceremony or the formal dinner. I’m also hearing of kids who buy 1 formal for the ceremony and a “party dress” for the dinner & dance. All of this of course, makes me shake my head and wonder what the hell is going on in the world today. Is 8th grade the end of the schooling for kids in Ontario? Hardly. Ontarians, and Canadians in general, are well educated and have fairly low drop-out rates (though here you can just stop attending at age 16 and there are no consequences other than the real-world ones.)

I think this big grad to-do is more a rite of passage – something I think our Western cultures need more of. These kids are leaving behind their care-free days of elementary school and entering the no-more-recesses arena of hours of homework, university entrance exams, semester finals, and whatever else the cruel gods of high school can come up with to torture their poor souls.

So what’s 8th grade grad look like?

Isn’t she beautiful?

Don't forget the dance & afterparty:

Congratulations, Marissa! We’re very proud of you.


About This Blog

Saving money. Saving graces. Raising children, husbands and, sometimes, cats. Laughing. Living. Thinking. Doing. Life in the Niagara Region of Ontario.

About Me

I am a happily married woman with four children and various cats and kittens (fosters). I love to read and my favourite authors are George RR Martin, Thomas Hardy, Raymond Carver, PD James, Kurt Vonnegut, J. K. Rowling, and Margaret Atwood. I know there are only three women in that list (and none of them American), so if you'd like to suggest some I'm willing to give them a shot! And yes, I am an American living in Canada. (Hence the nick -- CannedAm.) I like it here. There are things about the states that I miss, but my love is here and this country has things to offer that my own does not. Things that make my quality of life much better than it ever was in Ohio. Guess I'm stuck here. Though there's a nice spot in the Appalachian hills where I'd love to spend my retirement.

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