My son graduated from High School this afternoon. Yea! Sob! His is the eighth graduating class of this beautiful new school. As frustrating as life can be to a parent of a child in a large urban public high school, at least his surroundings were state of the art.
I told my son it seemed as though we were hearing the roster from the United Nations being read as the names were called of the graduates. I love that. The class of 555 was enthusiastic and a little teary, just as I imagined. The family and friends in the audience, including me and my husband, were loud and supportive when the time came. I think I only cried 4 times but I could be wrong.
And, his father left the air horn at home. Unintentionally. Someone else's father remembered, though, and my husband turned to me and say, "See, I'm not the only one with that idea." The man must have sneaked it in past security at the entrance. We were wanded and walked through a metal detector. Plus, purses and bags were searched, just like the airport. Good times.
The venue was Reliant Arena, normally used for Houston Comets (WNBA) games and the like. It was almost full. There was the color guard from the JROTC and all the Deans and teachers were there to hug the grads, shake hands and generally relish in the completion of four long years.
The coolest part? The Salutatorian address. Her name is Kait and she is a friend of my son's. She is a pretty blonde and instead of doing the standard boring speech, she chose to deliver her remarks in Rap form. She was awesome, there is no other word for it.
The most touching part? Three close friends of the student who drowned last month at school delivered a poem they wrote for him and his family. Yeah, that was one of my four teary parts. His parents were given their son's diploma. Two of the boys were Nigerian (like Vincent was) and the other's parents came from Kenya. My son had two classes with Vincent and said he was a good guy.
A photo was taken of each grad as they accepted a diploma - a fake one, the real ones are to be picked up in two weeks - from the Principal. I took some shots with my favorite camera, an old school non-digital and my husband snapped away with his digital. Maybe some will come out good. It was a big place and crowded and we were up a bit from the floor, so fingers crossed.
A funny bit happened at the beginning of the ceremony, we said the Pledge of Allegiance. Then the Texas State Pledge. My husband, who does not have a soft voice, said, "I didn't know there was such a thing as a State Pledge." Before I could respond, the guy in front of us said he thought it was an only in Texas kind of thing. He was from Minnesota! "Well, this IS Texas, you know", he said. I didn't know of its existence either before I joined my Republican woman's group and they say it, too.
We were pleasantly surprised that the hoopla only lasted just under two hours. It was really well organized, which has to be the case with so many rowdy Seniors.
Class of 08, we salute you. Onward and upward.