Monday, June 13, 2016

Happy Graduation

'Tis the season for graduations. Whether from preschool, grammar school, middle school, high school, college, grad school, or trade school, it marks a major transition in life. Graduations are rites of passage, of which we have few in today’s world.
Graduation marks both an ending and a beginning. It represents the end of one level of education and the start of another, or the next step in life.

I remember my grammar school graduation. We lined up on the playground and marched into the auditorium. Several people spoke, and we sang a couple of songs. Our names were called, and we were handed our certificates.

Then, in the evening, we had a party. Some of the kids danced, but no one asked me. I remember feeling such disappointment. For me, graduation was anti-climactic.

Last year, we had a grammar school reunion. I was surprised to learn how insecure we all felt. The guy who was the class heartthrob (yes, you, Jack) said he was totally oblivious to how many girls had crushes on him. At the time, my crush was Larry. Some things never change.

I remember high school graduation vividly. I went all through school from kindergarten with most of the same people. We began as babies together. After high school, we scattered. Until our reunion in 2014, I hadn’t seen or talked to most of my classmates since the night of the all-night party following the ceremony in the stadium where we collected our diplomas.

This year, we bought cards for three girls.

Our neighbor, Claire, graduates from grammar school. She is fourteen going on thirty—scary smart and wise beyond her years. She is also in our critique group, and has been since she was ten. All of us old folks are so proud of her. She is one of our best critics.

The daughter of a young lady who grew up across the street from us. She spent lots of time with us growing up, and we were like her second set of parents. (Her folks served the same role for our daughter.)

Kaitlyn is graduating from high school. When we received her announcement—with photos—we could hardly believe how adult she looked! We haven’t seen her in a couple of years. My, how she’s changed!

Our last graduate is Brooke, the young lady we have been mentoring. We attended her ceremony on Monday morning. After working with her all year, we wanted to be present when she received her diploma.

Each of these girls will soon begin the next phase of their lives. One will go on to high school, and the other two will start college.

Graduations are special times and deserve to be acknowledged.

So, happy graduation to all the 2016 graduates! Congratulations on your accomplishments, and all the best on your next step.


  1. My 6th grade graduation I was recovering from rheumatic fever but got to go to the graduation, there were only about 17 in the class. I remember very little about it except my aunt made me a beautiful cape to wear. Jr. High grad I don't remember at all. Sr. High we graduated in the Occidental College Bowl and all of us girls wore white formals. That one I remember--everything was a long, long time ago. I didn't bother with my college graduation.

    1. Most people I talk to remember high school the best.