graduation was last week. it was an awesome evening and somewhat emotional. i went to last year’s graduation and thought i was prepared for this year’s. but i was wrong. turns out watching other kids graduate doesn’t prepare you for when it’s your own. that’s probably true for lots of things in life.
it started with the processional. the board of directors, administration, and faculty came first (which was sort of cool, because i’ve just finished my term on the board so i got to proceed in, too) followed by the graduates.
and then came many things that aren’t unique to graduation. the welcome, a hymn, scripture reading and invocation, speeches by the valedictorians (there were two), the salutatorian, and the class president. next up was something that i think is pretty unique to their school – the presentation to parents. at this point in the program the seniors are asked to stand and come pick up a jasmine lei to present in gratitude to their parents. i saw this last year, it was emotional then, but also seemed like it might be a bit contrived. and when i told michael to prepare for it – days before graduation – that was his response. it would seem scripted and lack any true feeling.
he might have been wrong about that.
then everyone composed themselves and the ceremony continued. the keynote speaker was next – the graduates chose a faculty member to give this speech. finally we were to the presentation of the diplomas.
they call each senior up and announce their plans for the following year. it’s one more reminder of how spread out this group of kids is going to be in the very near future. then came the board’s message it was presented by the same wonderful lady who handed out the diplomas. she had many wise words and much encouragement for the graduates. including the reminder that their hearts “will always march to a global beat.” and i really hope that’s true for chan. and then it was time to wrap it up. but before the kids could leave there was one last photo op.
this was also a perfect time for one last impromptu singing of the school song. i don’t know about anyone else, but i sure enjoyed it.
then it was out to the basketball for a community reception.
and something else i was not prepared for. the gifts – the lovely bouquets, graduate teddy bears, more bouquets, books, and flowers. these were given by many very generous parents who chan has gotten to know pretty well over the years.
pretty quickly the night was over. the graduates all headed out to celebrate and the families headed out for dinner.
i know we’re supposed to be moving forward now, but i’m still not ready to do that. i’m sure i’ll get there – eventually. it would probably be easier to do if i’d stop looking at that pic of chan and michael. i cry. everytime.