Graduation: And just like that — high school is over.

A couple of nights ago, while many HS seniors were gathering for the Valediction ceremony, a few seniors were on the soccer field, their team competing in the state tournament. After a stellar season, they lost that game. A friend, and mother to one of those seniors, posted a status update yesterday:

And just like that — after 13 years we’re done with soccer. Kind of stunned.

My immediate thought was, the same with school. Wow. Just like that, Mod Squad Pete is done with K-12. I am truly stunned.

Countdown to graduation.

For all intents and purposes, many of the high school seniors were done after the WAHSAP exams took place during the first two weeks of May (May 7-18th in 2012). In our school division, if the student has an A for the year in a course and is a student in good standing (no outstanding fines, library books, detentions, etc.), he or she doesn’t need to take the final exam. If seniors do need to take any exams, theirs were scheduled during the week of May 21. (Other classes take exams here next week with the last day of school on June 8th.)

Grad rehearsal took place May 22nd. Pete and a few classmates were scheduled to perform at Valediction; they had a couple of rehearsals as well.

So the past couple of weeks have included some lovely, lazy times for Pete — only interrupted by a few working shifts and the occasional prod from me for him to do something productive. [Sorry, Pete!]

It’s really here.

Valediction — this was our first year to attend — is an award announcement ceremony for the seniors and their families. The student performances included a jazz ensemble and three vocalists, and a local radio sportscaster spoke. The emphasis of the evening was to pay attention to the awards and scholarships earned by the graduating seniors.

As the seniors proceeded into the auditorium, wearing cap and gown, Mod Squad Dad turned to me and said, “It’s just dawning on me; they’re really graduating.” Cue the waterworks.

This was also our first year to attend graduation. I knew the division Superintendent and the School Board would attend; I didn’t realize the County Board of Supervisors would attend as well. Most touching to me:  after the dignitaries and school administrators proceeded to the dais, the high school teachers paraded in and lined both sides of the aisle for the students’ procession. Around 250 seniors then walked through the smiling, cheering gauntlet of teachers they’d worked with for four years, many stopping for hugs and photos along the way. More waterworks for me.

The personal path.

Over the past year I’ve tried to share many of our tasks, questions, and worries, along with a few triumphs. I’ve often reported on higher ed news, sometimes putting it into the context of our family’s process. I’ve had some fun at Pete’s and my own expense.

And upon occasion, I’ve attempted to write about how I feel about what’s been going on. I remember writing this post, about the first day of senior year. High school graduation is one of those milestone days for us and, I suspect, most families.

Bear with me as I focus on that personal aspect. We are so incredibly proud of Pete — of the relationships he has developed with friends, teachers, administrators, employers; of the curiosity he has maintained in the classroom; of the musical creativity he has pursued; of his perserverence through tough course schedules and crazy college application deadlines; of the good humor and positive attitude he carries with him almost all of the time; and all of that and more that he contributes to the joy of this family.

Thank you, Pete, for allowing me to write about our work together this past year. And thank you for the life and love you bring to us daily. We wish you all the best going forward.

Good luck to you, your friends, and your classmates:  the WAHS class of 2012.

 

 

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7 Comments

Filed under High School

7 responses to “Graduation: And just like that — high school is over.

  1. Amy Halliday

    Thanks for this, Jane. Isn’t it amazing how even though we know what’s coming, it’s shocking just the same? Sorry I didn’t get to give you a big congratulatory hug last night.
    XOX

  2. Thanks for the use of your words, Amy, and hearty congratulations to you, Paul, and your college boy!

  3. I watched the ceremony on streaming. So glad WASH did that. I loved Josh Mandell’s speech. Such a great kid.

    • Thanks for the comment, Carolyn. That livestreaming is so great for those of us with faraway families. I saw a tweet from the division CIO today that they averaged 200+ connections for each of the three graduations with 10-15% coming from international IPs. Very cool.

  4. Robyn

    Jane, you’ve provided a wonderful service to this village…and beyond. I hope its still “live” when we need it in a couple of years!

    • Thanks very much, Robyn. Although we have joked that we’ll just toss M.S. Linc a pen and say, ‘go for it, kid!’, I’m sure we’ll still be involved in the process and I hope to still be writing about it. Congratulations on your son’s graduation and good luck to him in high school!

  5. Pingback: First day of senior year: she looks forward. Me, not just yet. | Dr. StrangeCollege or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Journey

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