unicorn quest

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Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Cheers for the Grads

High School Graduation hasn't changed a bit since I walked down the aisle, many moons ago.

I went to a friend's last night, held in the local civic center. After processing to their seats, decked out in bright purple caps and gowns, the kids began to throw brightly colored super balls up into the air, giving the whole proceedings the flavor of a rock concert. Teachers, impressive in suits, patrolled up and down the aisles shaking threatening fingers--but what could they do??? Give it up. Those kids are out of here! As Alice Cooper once said, "school's out for the summer--school's out forever!"

When I graduated, we baked on bleachers in a field out in the 90 degree sun, and blew bubbles.

My friend Clarisse said when she graduated about 40 years ago, they threw paper airplanes.

As the grads were about to walk across the stage, the principal made a little speech asking everyone to refrain from shouting, cheering, blowing air horns after people's names were called. He might as well have saved his breath.

There were more air horns than at a parade or sporting event. Half the town was in there, shouting themselves raw, some of them cheering in sections, or just tooting horns continuously during the whole ceremony.

And then that breathtaking moment, like hot air balloons bobbling into flight, when the kids swept off their caps and sent them airborn. The mad scramble to hug and to find the parents and friends, who, bearing flowers and cameras, came surging out of the stands.

Nope, hasn't changed one bit.

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