Saturday, June 23, 2007


My brother graduated from high school yesterday at SPAC, where I graduated from high school. SPAC is a large venue that hosts music celebrities from Dave Matthews Band to Green Day to Backstreet Boys over the summer season, but the large venue works for my school since we have so many students in it. My class was 650; my brother's was 660 this year.

I felt a bit older yesterday, walking around and watching all of the young graduates in their caps and gowns as they snapped pictures with friends they might not ever see again, but I was so far from that place and time. In a sense, that's a great thing, for I have become much more intelligent about multiple things in the process, life lessons that I'd never take back. But I couldn't help but yearn for that carelessness, that innocence where life wasn't really all that serious yet. You had college years to look forward to, bullshit classes to take, friends to make, memories to instill, and more learning tasks in the process.

I looked at it on a different side too though: I hope that I can be a part of the graduation process when I become a teacher. I hope that I can lead lines and be a part of this ceremony for my students, as it is important to many young adults. Plus, I really want to wear the regalia!

Now that I've graduated from college too, I definitely feel a bit older, even though I am at a height of 21 and am actually still very young. I still haven't reached 22, the year when my friends say that they really feel old. 21 is the age that you look forward to reaching, and once you get there, you never look forward to turning a year older ever again. I'll let you know how it feels in September.

Graduations were fun for me though; they were not depressing and sad. At each one, I was so energetic and excited to be at the boring ceremony and goof off with my friends. I hardly listened to the speakers, not remembering any of the "thoughtful" moral lessons they wanted to teach us, except I do remember Chuck Shumer telling us all to "go for it!" which seems that it lacks any hint of deep thought. Above I have the picture of my best friends and I at last May's college graduation. But I'd rather remember the beach balls surfing around the crowd, the jokes from my friends about cap decorations or public speakers, the camera shots in between minutes of daunting ceremonial speeches, tassle fights, loud and obnoxious singing, and, of course, watching Ang harass a professor to wear her fluffy cap:

Yesterday's ceremony, as much as I reminisced on my own graduations, made me feel a bit sad, yet happy, to see my brother graduate. He's just a little guy; he still seems so young to me, but he's really growing up. He's very smart, not just about science and math, but about life. He is much more wise than I was at his age. I just feel sort of like the parent does, I guess, proud but sad to see him grow up. He was the cutest guy in his cap and gown... He looks like such a grown man, but I can still see the child in him.

I only hope that he can move on and make such great friends as I have, share some crazy college memories and experiences with a new crowd of people, and adapt some diverse views and understandings of the world beyond our hometown. I hope that he can have great friends like I have; I feel that this picture below represents us well. Not to mention, this is the background of my computer. I like to see it a lot. This is the last picture we took before we moved out that day of senior year, and I think the positioning is symbolic. I love them all though.


Megan Bottle said...

Your post nearly made me cry. My younger brother graduated from High School yesterday, and as my mom and I sat in the hot sun on uncomfortable metal bleachers, I couldn't help but feel like he was my own child. My brother and I were rediculously close growing up, and for many years, I suppose I did play a "mother" type role to him.

You made an interesting point: "I hope that I can be a part of the graduation process when I become a teacher." I had that exact same thought yesterday. See, my high school experience was somewhat, er, terrible. But that's because I never really found a teacher to connect with, so I felt like my entire existence at Windsor was invisible. I didn't realy care to make any friends (except my best ever friend EVER). I didnt go to social gatherings, parties, dances, or sporting events. I just went to school and then left at the end of the day. THIS is the change that I hope to make in my students. I know that they don't all have to be star athletes, musicians, artists, or scholars. I just want them to CARE about something as they pass through the halls of whatever school I'm teaching in. I want it to mean something to them. I want them to stand on the stage at their graduation ceremony and know that they spent a worthwhile four (or maybe five...) years at school. That's all.

For me though, graduations don't see much like benchmarks or openings to new doors. It's probably because I messed up the natural succession of life by getting married and buying a house before graduating with a Bachelor's degree. I guess I just never did things the way I was supposed to. Stubbornness runs in my family. Big time.

Thanks for listening.

PS. That's an amazing picture of you and your friends on the porch. It should be, like, an album cover or something.

PSS. Look how many dots you have on your ClustrMap!!!!

Jami said...

Haha! Your posts make me so happy. They're like the sun through the clouds (what a cliche)...

I felt exactly like you did at graduation, but I didn't have that one close teacher either. I watched how some kids hugged certain teachers after they crossed the stage, and I didn't know who mine would be. I want to be that person for even just one person (hopefully more), but I do think that that one teacher does make a difference.

Like you, I had an awkward high school phase. One reason I wanted to become a teacher was because I want to help students transition through that weird part of their lives, which seems like everything at the time. Since I had such a weird, strange, awkward, and uncomfortable time, I want to relieve some of that for them; I want to show them that there's more to life than sports, clubs, cliques, and fashion. High school really isn't everything, in the end.

There ARE so many dots on my clustr map! Who are they? And they shoulg blog! I get really excited when I see them grow all the time. Yay!

Thanks for writing. You're my favorite respondent.