Monday, June 27, 2011

Graduation Party

Over the weekend, I went to Lucia's high school graduation party in Brooklyn. I never thought I'd get actually invited to a student's graduation party (being a teacher), but there I was, dressed to impress and ready to pretend that I am not awkward.

Lucia is special to me, because she's the other student I spoke about here. She's a work horse, scoring some of the highest grades at our grade on all the New York Regents Exams. She's incredibly motivated. I'm quite proud of her: she'll go to a community college for a year or two and then transfer out.

As we sat at our respective tables enjoying the company, I remembered what it was like when I was in my students' shoes in this moment. Graduation right around the corner, everyone thinking this was a big deal. My thoughts during my graduation process:
Hmm. Well, I don't feel any older...
I wanted my high school graduation to end as soon as possible. I didn't want to go to a "formal" dinner afterward. I didn't want to get pictures taken at different angles holding an empty diploma holder (they mailed it to us later). I just wanted summer to end so I could get the hell out. But that was me and if it's one thing I've learned, not all students are like me. Yet.

Kareem, student who I've written about several times, was also at Lucia's graduation party, as well as other students and teachers. It was fantastic being there, to see how far Kareem and Lucia went after they came to my school two years ago, looking for a fresh start. When I originally went through their transcripts, I would never have guessed these two individuals would later became the "good ones" I'd think about after a rough day. Shows how much paper tells you about perseverance.

I began to wonder how they will feel around August, when it's time to start college: that magical place where they're supposed to broaden their horizons, figure out what they don't want to do in life, and ultimately choose their vice: beer or pot or both.
Readers: you know which category you fall into.
With my dad driving and my mom up front talking up a storm about something insignificant, I sat in our green van for two and a half hours from Chicago to Urbana-Champaign with a couple of songs on repeat in my iPod. This was one of them.

Sometimes songs represent feelings better than just words. Thank you, Blink 182.


2 said...

"beer or pot or both.

Readers: you know which category you fall into."

You forgot neither

Yo Mista said...

@ 2:
No, I didn't ;)