Ring Ceremony Debates
With the passing of another NAHS Ring Ceremony, many juniors were entranced and excited as they received their shiny new class rings: symbols that they are moving up in the world and on their ways to becoming adults. Or, did they really just get a bunch of overpriced and over-glorified pretty rocks on a hunk of metal? Every year it seems that everyone gets so caught up in the Ring Ceremony that the voices of those that criticize it are often not heard. The following are the two sides of the argument: Is the Ring Ceremony a significant and pivotal moment in a young man or woman’s life, or is it a waste of time and money?
I was being honest when I said that class rings were symbols that high school students are moving up in the world. A class ring is meant to symbolize one’s high school memories and serve as a reminder to the wearer of their roots later on in life. One example can be found in our own band director Mr. Deen who regularly wears his high school ring, especially when the band is performing, to symbolize how NAHS and the Jacket Regiment have been major parts of his life. Thus, it seems only fair to honor such a significant piece of jewelry with respect and with an equally memorable Ring Ceremony.
Mrs. Melton puts a great deal of hard work into planning the Ring Ceremony. According to her younger son Richard, “My mom spends a ton of time planning [the Ring Ceremony]. In fact, it takes about as much planning as the freaking PROM!” It’s easy to see that even the teachers recognize the importance of the Ring Ceremony.
The Ring Ceremony itself consists of the students eagerly waiting for the moment when they are permitted to step forward and receive their ring as their parents present it to them. It’s the moment that every underclassman looks forward to. According to Jazzmyne Foresman, “I think it was pretty cool, actually. I know for a fact it meant a lot to a couple of my friends.”
After the ceremony, one feels as if they have finally reached a new stepping stone in life, which in many ways is very true considering some students had to overcome difficult struggles to make it this far in their education.
The Not-so Positives
“All you do at that Ring Ceremony is wait forever for your name to be called, then you walk down the cute little aisle, stand under the cute little pavilion and your parents hand you a box that you’re not even allowed to open until everyone else has done the same. Big whoop! It’s really not that great.” These are the words of senior Taylor Wapshott, though it should be noted that with a last name that begins with a “W” one can easily understand why she would be frustrated and easily angered at the mention of the Ring Ceremony (especially when one considers the fact that most girls wear uncomfortable high-heels to such events). However, her summary of the Ring Ceremony is fairly accurate, in all honesty. (It should also be noted that I was leery of asking juniors of their opinions on the Ring Ceremony since the novelty of their shiny new rings has not had a chance to wear off.)
Many seniors did not have many positive things to say about the Ring Ceremony. Jessica Kaczmareck stated, in a matter-of-fact voice, “I didn’t even bother going to the Ring Ceremony. It kind of sounded like a waste of time, to me.”
“It was really nice and everything, but I really don’t get why some people got all worked up over it,” says Devin Broaden. The Ring Ceremony is meant to honor a significant moment in a young person’s life and give them a special memory, but it seems most will only remember the long wait it took to receive their ring.
Contrary to popular belief, one is not forced to order their ring through the
uber-expensive Jostens. Back in the day, students were given the option to use Jostens, which offers higher quality rings and very nice warranties, or Keystone, which offers decent rings at a more modest price. While a warrantee may seem nice, let’s face it, how many students end up using it? Personally, I chose the later option and found the exact same ring in the Jostens’ catalog (symbols, engravings, stone and all), except I saved myself both $200 and a long wait at the back of the line since I was able to avoid the ceremony. (I also spared myself the several months it takes for Jostens to make the rings. Rather than several months, I only waited several weeks and received my ring before any other junior.) Megan Fife commented “I wasn’t about to spend five hundred plus dollars on a ring! Got mine through another company and saved myself a butt load.” The reason I say all of this is because quite frankly, the Ring Ceremony’s ulterior motive is publicity for Jostens and many students did not seem to know that they had the option.
Finally, many people argue that the Ring Ceremony is special because it provides a significant memory for its attendees. Sorry to burst some bubbles, but most students tend to take the ring off once they enter college since it connotes a clinging to high school rather than embracing college. Also, rings and ceremonies are not likely to trigger many fond memories; a yearbook is more suited for that. Lastly, what about those students who cannot attend the ceremony since they cannot afford a ring? While there are pay plans, it does not change the fact that the average ring costs several hundred dollars. Are those students simply supposed to suck it up that they are left out while it’s practically rubbed in their faces that they could not attend?
The Ring Ceremony at its core is very symbolic and special to many students and teachers alike. Many students enjoy receiving their ring since it is a symbol of status and advancement. On the other hand, the ceremony itself is rather dull and ridiculous when one looks at it in various perspectives. While many argue that a class ring signifies something very special and thus deserves a ceremony and lots of money, the only ring I think deserves such merit is a wedding ring. The Ring Ceremony is a cool idea and everything, but honestly, during a time of strict budget cuts, I was surprised it was left unharmed. If you want my opinion on the matter, just reread Taylor’s comment.
Did I leave anything out or would you prefer to slaughter my arguments? (Something tells me I’ll have more of the latter, could those Divination classes be paying off?) Either way, feel free to comment.