In a few hours the graduating class of 2008 will walk onto the football field, stride for stride to the requisite tune of Pomp & Circumstance. They will shake the hand of a distinguished board member, take their diplomas, walk to their seats and sit through the ceremony waiting impatiently for that moment when our principal declares them to be graduated.
And I will be on the field with them. As a high school teacher of seniors, not only do I get to attend prom every year (I have a collection of the cheesy prom pictures), I also get to "graduate" every year as well. Just for the record, in my lifetime, I've graduated 8 times.
At graduation I'm one of the faculty members that gets to put on a cap and gown, and sit out on the field with the students. I'm there to supervise. You know, put the cabbash on beach balls and other contraband. After the ceremony I take pictures with my students and go on about my way. The only difference is that I return in September when the bell rings, and do it all over again. But this year is different. In 12 days we leave for our cross-country extravaganza that will lead us to our new home on the East. And I won't be back on the field in a year with my West Coast kids of 2009.
So tonight, as my "Children of the Corn" graduate, I will join them in taking another step; another whopping leap. Change is a good thing. We are not leaving anything behind, but instead we are all moving towards something much bigger.
Dr. Seuss said it best:
You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself any direction you choose.
You're on your own. And you know what you know.
And YOU are the one who'll decide where to go.
Congratulations to the graduating class of 2008 at THS.
Congratulations to us all.