Which outdated customs should go?

Though I do not have strong feelings about it, this seems sensible. Handing out cake and seats diplomas seems fun. Dressing up in tuxedos and renting cars would not seem to add anything useful.

In the U.S.: the Pledge of Allegiance in elementary schools.

I agree that all prices should include tax. The price you see should be the price you pay. But the rest of your point brings up another old fashioned American custom that should probably go. Stop using cash!

And middle schools and high schools.

I am not sure I understand what you mean here. Cam you clarify?

My university was well known for its Beetle F. Bailey School of Government. But he probably just means some civilians who talk about the military the most know the least about it. Like Sergeant Schultz-Dunning-Kruger, they know nuthink.

That’s pretty much it. And, of course, those who think that the violence portrayed in certain comics and movies is the way the military should act are completely wrong.

Do they still force kids to do that? I was in elementary school when “under God” was added, and it was a really big deal, but nobody objected.

I went to school on military bases from 1st through 3rd grade and we said the pledge every day. When my dad retired and I started going to school off base, the pledge was no longer a part of daily student life in Colorado. When I moved to Texas, I started middle school and eventually graduated high school and we never recited the pledge that I can recall. But there are over 13,000 independent school districts in the United States and I wouldn’t doubt that the pledge continued to be recited in some of them.

I recently visited the US Vietnam memorials in Washington DC with a friend who had been shot down in Nam. He retired a Colonel years ago, and had a box full of distinguished medals. While at the memorials, there were a few tour groups of younger people with guides nearby. I nudged my friend, telling him, “You should speak up. Maybe some of these folks would be interested in hearing about your real world experiences.” He was having none of that.

He likes to keep his head down about it, and doesn’t like seeing those old guys wearing their military insignia caps everywhere. To him, they remind him of someone who scored one game winning touchdown in high-school and peaked at that point, and lived the rest of their lives on that one past glory. A bit harsh, maybe, but that’s how he sees it.

I graduated kindergarten in the 80s, and I think it was pretty similar. I seem to recall we walked across a little stage, maybe in the school cafeteria. We got a diploma, which in my mind may have been rolled up with a ribbon tied around it. And I think my mom was there. I think all that is totally fine. If there are significantly more elaborate kindergarten graduations, I’d be curious to learn what exactly they’re doing.

Giving out awards for the highest WPPSI scores and announcing which elite elementary schools they are going in to?

“Sorry, Timmy, no diploma for you. You flunked Coloring.”

He probably didn’t understand the “Four Colour Rule”. And while you can go outside the lines, staying on the page is still required.

I’m 44 years old. I missed my kindergarten graduation to see my brother’s birth. I got my wee little diploma and paper cap the following Monday.

I attended elementary school in the 1960s and we said the Pledge every day. I had no idea what the words meant. I didn’t know what “pledge” meant, what “allegiance” was, what “republic” meant, who Richard Stands was, etc. Even if society does want instill those values in children, the language of the Pledge is entirely inappropriate for young children.

When I was in school, we didn’t have any kind of graduation until the end of 9th grade, and of course 12th. That was enough.

Back in 1964, Linus van Pelt ran for school president in the comic strip Peanuts. One of his campaign pledges was to eliminate cap and gown kindergarten graduations. Presumably a common enough thing, even at that time (close to sixty years ago) that readers knew what he was talking about.

I’m past 55 and never had any school graduations of any sort until the end of high school.

I’ll also mention I attended school in three different states and four different school districts during that time.

So it might have been, or may is, common but by no means universal.

Sure. It’s not required. But it’s weird how some people get really mad about it, like it’s immoral to indulge 6 year olds.