Notes from the Road, #32: Graduation Season

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The school year’s coming to an end, and that means it’s graduation season. During my time traveling the schools, I got to work w/ kids from preschool through high school, and also kids in transition at a specialized school. By transition, I mean kids on track to age out of the school system.

When the school year was going on, it felt like it would never end, and I never wanted it to end. I know there was at least a few kids who felt the same way.

The day I’d been dreading ever since I started there had finally arrived. The school had their end of the year traditions for the 5th graders, who are now officially middle schoolers.

It seems like only yesterday they were kindergarteners themselves, doesn’t it?

I had the chance to attend some of the high school graduations going on. The trek over there was easy, but I ended up missing out on a couple of the ceremonies since I was elsewhere and lost track of time.

One of those was a school where several of the kids I tutored back when I was in college attended. They were kindergarteners at the time, and up until now, they were always kindergarteners in my head as I’d think about em from time to time, wondering how they were holding up these days.

I caught the livestream replay when I got home, when I realized I’d missed their ceremony. I’d already picked up my Diet Coke refill from the neighborhood convenience store, and it was in the fridge, ready to roll. There was still time before the Cubs game came on the radio, and this time, it was an away game.

I found the livestream, and when I saw the first of those kids walk across that stage, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. I recognized more of the names read, and I was shocked, to say the least. There was no way I’d ever recognize any of those kids, since they were kindergarteners the last time I saw them.

This was now officially the last of the kids I tutored in college to make it through the school system, and now they’re college kids themselves.

I wonder if any of those kids are gonna go to my alma mater. I guess we’ll find out soon enough, won’t we?

I finished up the night w/ the Diet Coke, cold from the fridge, and the Cubs game. I don’t even remember who won at this point, nor do I really care. I just like listening to it on the radio, kwim?

The next day, I woke up early for my walk, and on my way back, I stopped by the graduation ceremony for another school. I went in to show my support.

I stuck around for the ceremony, since one of the others at the school has a kid graduating. The class valedictorian gave their speech.

They talked about how their high school years started off like in the movies, and when the pandemic hit, all of that basically went out the window. They talked about how everything was remote, and how lonely things were for them. They reached a point where they no longer cared. Their schoolwork started piling up like a mountain, and when they finally reached a point where they couldn’t take it anymore, they had no idea where to begin getting themselves outta the mess they were in.

They came up w/ the idea to do one thing at a time, and soon, they got caught up. Now, here they are, high school alumni, but at that ceremony, they were the class valedictorian.

It got me thinking about this blog. So much has gone on in my life outside of this blog, and it fell on the back burner for so long.

I have no idea where to even begin in terms of getting myself out of this mess. So, I guess I’ll take a page outta that valedictorian’s book, and do one thing at a time. Guess that’s all I can do, really.

Over to you, readers. Have you ever been in a place like that valedictorian was in? How’d you deal w/ it? Did you have a chance to go to a graduation ceremony this year? How’d you like it? Either way, I’d love to hear your thoughts and takeaways, so drop it all like it’s hawt, and let’s talk.

Missed the previous installments? No worries! I gotcha, right here: 30, 29, 28, 27.

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