Graduations make me laugh. People take things so seriously. And celebrating the completion of kindergarten and 8th grade? How are those grades more of an accomplishment than the rest of them? And high school graduates who talk about entering the real world. Hello, that happened the day you were born!
From my experience, high school is not a sheltering place, and not much changes after you walk across that stage.
I like to watch the teachers and administrators who go through this every year. I wonder what they’re thinking. They do a good job of making it a special occasion for the kids – even though it’s got to be the same ol’ same ol’ for them.
The cynicism may come from my own graduation. I was just a face in the crowd of 205. I wasn’t a valedictorian, or even in the top 10. But almost. (I was either 12th or 11th. There’s nothing quite like being that close to stand-out good.) I didn’t get the slew of awards, or sing the sappy graduation song or give a speech or bawl all over my class of friends who had become my family.
I was just a blended-in somebody who was glad to be done with it all and had no idea what I was going to do with the rest of my life. I didn’t try very hard in school. And if you don’t work for something, you just don’t enjoy the rewards as much, do you?
This evening the 8th grade class was singing a sweet friendship song, when I noticed that one of the boys really had a great voice. I was watching them intently, trying to figure out which one it was. For a second there I thought I had him picked out. He really sounded good! And then the voice started to sound familiar. Like something that I’ve heard out of my own stereo speakers…
They were singing along with a James Taylor CD. 🙂
I wonder what he sounded like in the 8th grade…