First of all, let me say, it was sweet. There were just 31 graduates (Wonder Boy was one, of course!), the smallest graduating class I've ever observed. My class and my kids classes were all upwards of 200, so this was very different. As is usual in places where the weather is generally good (does NM immediately spring to mind?), it was outside in the football field. I was very impressed that probably 3/4 of the class got some sort of scholarship! Cool! And most of the kids had completed between 4 and 14 credits in a program to give the kids double credit for each class, one to meet the high school requirements and another toward their college degrees.
It has been a long time since I sat in a high school stadium on the bleachers. I hope it's a long time before I do again! They are not comfortable. No back support, hard bare metal seats, and insufficient room between rows to allow even me to sit with my legs straight ahead. Not comfortable for an hour and a half ceremony! But I could have endured it better without ....
- The Woman in Red behind me who fidgeted and fiddled with stuff throughout the whole ceremony. She took some pictures, then sat there scrolling through what she had taken .... beep.. beep.. beep.. beep.. beep.. beep.. beep.. beep.. beep ........ I think she scrolled through about 30 pictures, and it was going right up my spine!! Then she got out the camcorder. That wasn't too bad, but she put it away, then took it out, then put it away, every time zipping, unzipping, scrunching the nylon case, moving other things around in the case and making more noise than you can imagine. At one point the digital camera tumbled out of the bag as she juggled everything around, and it hit me in the back. I wasn't injured, but it didn't feel good either. Several times, as she shifted around with all that, she kneed me in the back, again, not hard, but irritating and with no apology.
Next she sat the camera case down in the aisle with the strap causing an obstacle. When another woman tried to walk down the aisle, she tiptoed through it, and even being careful, caught her toe. No, she didn't fall, but Woman in Red didn't do a thing, didn't even say "Sorry," or move the strap. So I reached out and moved the strap out of the path for safety.
Then her cell phone went off! C'mon! It may be outside, but it is rude to leave your cell on during such an event! It was a text message, and she spent the next few minutes click-click-clicking.
- Speaking of cell phones, there was constant texting going on all around me. Most was teenagers, but still I found it annoying. Most phones were silent, but the clicking was often audible, and I have a hearing loss, so it must have been quite audible to normally-hearing folks! The other thing about cell phones .... at least eight cell phones were dropped, rattling loudly when they fell on the metal bleachers. Put the damn things away already!!
- There was a constant stream of people in and out of the bleachers. The ones with small children, I could understand. Little ones have to go to the bathroom or have their diapers changed. But many were adults who went out to smoke or just to stand around and talk away from the ceremony. Perhaps some were as uncomfortable (or more so) as I and needed to move around. But it seemed disrespectful to do so, especially those who walked in front of me more than once. What's with that?
- Both going in and leaving, people stood in the paved path chatting. Rather than moving to the side of the path to allow people to walk more safely, they stood planted, making it necessary for others to walk around them in the gravel.
But on a positive note, I was so refreshed to see those sweet young faces today. It makes me feel good about our future to see the hope and eagerness. I told Wonder Boy that watching him grow and mature over the past four years has been an absolute pleasure. It truly has been. He was such an immature, insecure child that he seemed more like an eleven year old than fourteen when I met him. He was afraid of his shadow, quite literally, when he came here to live with his father and step mother. Now he is much more sure of who he is, and he is looking forward to a future of acting in the theaters/movies. He has come out of his shell with thespian endeavors, and is currently up for bit parts in a couple movies for the summer. He's already done a couple extras/walkons. He plans to major in film technology in college. I'm so proud of him, like an "adopted" grandmother. I will greatly miss him, although he reminds me that he isn't going to be far away and that he will still be here to house/puppy sit much of the time!
It was a good day, including the barbeque at his parents' home after the ceremony. I got to meet his mother and much of the extended family, and we had tons of excellent food while we chatted. Life is good with food, friends, and a glimpse into the future via those young eyes. :) Yeah, life really is good.