Wednesday, May 18, 2011

moving on

It's Wednesday, but not just any ol' Wednesday-- it's both Way Back When-sday AND the last day of school (for the kids in my school/county). (Note: it is not my last day of school. As a year round employee, I never get the joy of proclaiming any day to be my "last day." Until the day I win the lottery and/or retire.) There's been, as you would suspect, all sorts of "moving on" ceremonies and shenanigans over the past few weeks. Interesting note: in my county it is illegal (or so I've been threatened) to use the word "graduation" for anything other than actual high school graduation. The powers-that-be want the ONLY connotation of "graduation" to be the kind that happens after twelfth grade. If a student says something like "I'm graduating from third grade!" we are supposed to gently correct them and remind them that they are moving on from third grade, they have completed the third grade-- but they will only graduate when they finish high school. It seems weird to me, but I guess in a county where the graduation rate is like 3%, you do whatever you have to. (Just kidding. The graduation is really something like 77%. But for some reason our reputation has most people putting us at around 3. Weird.) 

Still, I don't really get how using the word "graduation" in reference to completing 3rd grade somehow cheapens the word itself. Are there really parents out there who would get an invitation to their son's 3rd grade "graduation" and afterward find themselves thinking oh!! Billy GRADUATED!!! Guess he never has to go back to school again, his education is complete!! ??? Ok, anyway. MOVING ON. (hahaha)

I myself have moved on slash graduated a number of times in my long life. I have this picture from the last day of 5th grade up in the attic (too tired to crawl up there) and it's awesome because it's proof that I hit my growth spurt EARLY in life. I have pictures of me with my friends AND with my teacher, and I tower over EVERYONE. I was 5'6 or 5'7 by the end of 5th grade, and that just wasn't normal. I'm glad I quit growing then! Anyway, I don't have that picture. Sorry.

Instead, I have relatively recent pictures from my high school graduation (c/o 2001, what's up!) and college graduation (c/o 2005). And it makes me happy to point out that I have shots with my dearest high school buddies in BOTH pictures, despite us all going away to colleges across the country south.

My parents had a graduation party for my friends and I before the ceremony. Thanks, Mom and Dad! Don't I have loonnnnng hair??
L-R: Jessica (FSU), Christopher (Ga Tech), Dustin (UGA), me (UGA), Elizabeth (Winthrop), Hallie (UGA & my roommate). Didn't we look nice?? And isn't this picture super-overexposed??

Hallie, Dustin, and I (the UGA-bound crowd) after the ceremony.

A few short years later, I found myself graduating from the University of Georgia. And I re-used my high school grad gown. Way to be economical, me!

My friend Alyssa and I were the only two members of our very elite club, the Three Tassels Club. We had to do a night-before-graduation photo shoot because actually wearing all three tassels is very complicated and heavy, so for the actual graduation day I think we just wore one or two each. To this day, we still sign our cards and book inscriptions to one another (because we tend to give each other books a lot) with a nice and mature "three tassels forever" or by proclaiming a book to be "three tassel approved." (Note: we had three tassels because we each got a Bachelors of Science, and Bachelors of Arts, and summa cum laude.) (Other note: please do not be misled into thinking that three tassels somehow translates into ever getting a job that pays actual money. Because that would be wrong.)

My siblings and I after the "commencement exercise" which is basically the longest and most boring and hottest and most impersonal thing you've ever endured.

Not surprisingly, my parents had a nice graduation cook-out afterward! From L-R: Jessica, Dustin, me, Elizabeth, Patrick. We had a lot of graduations that summer. My favorite graduation memory is when Dustin and I were driving up to Rock Hill to watch Patrick graduate. We stopped at a yard sale and bought him the largest, gaudiest red teddy bear "graduation present" you have ever seen. And some ying yang ceramic shot glasses. I'm pretty sure it was the highlight of Patrick's graduation.

This weekend we're going to visit my parents in Augusta. I have a shower for my brother's fiancee to attend on Saturday. My mom, who is a high school teacher, mentioned that she has to go to her school's graduation on Saturday night. Then she invited me to come. And then I laughed my face off for approximately one hour because graduations are AWFUL!!! I would have to love someone a LOT to sit through that kind of torture, and I can go ahead and guess I won't love anyone that much again until my own kids are 18. 

Anyway. going to any fun and exciting graduations this year?? Now that I've gotten you all excited about them? Ha. If you actually are going, then here are my suggestions for how to endure:

1. GET A PROGRAM. Hopefully it will have a list of all the graduate's complete names. Then you can have fun doing things like a) making fun of names with your other mature co-attendees and, b) counting up to see which name "wins" (has the most people w/ that name). Also you can doodle, play tic-tac-toe, and pass notes with your friends.
2. Oh. Get a smartphone. I bet you wouldn't even notice how bored you are!
3. Come down with swine flu or bird flu or maybe the plague and sadly decline the invitation.


  1. I feel like your posts make you sound like you should be related to Amanda and me. (That's a compliment, obviously.)

  2. Ditto to what Allison said! And PS- our favorite phrase to say senior year (and, um, maybe still today) was, "There's no one like '01!" So glad we're having our 10-year reunion this year so we can bring it back out!

  3. Since this year marks the big 10 years since graduation from high school, I thought I'd have a reunion party Yes, I was homeschooled and I am my own class of one. I should throw a party and use sticker "Hi, my name is" tags. hahaha :) Or, I could tell myself I look great 10 years later and call it a night.

  4. I did not go to the graduation ceremony. I did not wish to sit in a hot non air conditioned gym for roughly 2-3 hours. I have sat through many graduation services though 8-10 I believe. I did however this year go to 8 graduation parties in one weekend and we have one more this weekend. So I didn't have to sit through a service but I did get some yummy food at all of the parties. This makes my heart happy:)


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