14 June 2013

The Muse: Commencement

I saved these photos, which admittedly are not of the best quality, from last week. On June 7th we held our graduation in the middle of what was left of Tropical Storm Andrea, a veritable deluge. Check out our volunteer parking attendants in their orange slickers (there were hats too but they didn't make the photo)

 It sounded like there was machine gun fire the rain was so loud on the roof of the gymnasium. It was terrible for hair, and shoes, and just about any other thing of value that wasn't strapped down. But despite all that crazy weather, the show did go on, and it was a lovely show. This class is a very special one for me, I had a lot of these kids through the years (they would have been in 5th grade when I started as a sub) and became especially close to a great number over the past two years. I will miss them  a lot. All kids are special in their own way, but some classes just have a truly great mix of kids. They are creative and bright, unexpected and zany, and above all they represent the kind of people you would like to see more of in the world. For me the class of 2013, was definitely that.

Dress: vintage, no label, Better Than New Consignment
Shrug: Moyna via Anthropologie
Shoes: Prabal Gurung for Target
Bracelet: vintage, my great-grandmother's
Earrings: vintage, via...? I honestly can't remember

I honestly hope I didn't have as much eyeshadow on as it looks like I'm wearing. You would think at least some rubbed off in the rain. Otherwise when everyone saw my marching in on TV they must have been wondering who the hooker was teaching their kids.
My co-workers Andrew, Kate, and Missy. Kate is one of those people who is so beautiful you want to hate her, but she's so sweet and wonderful you just can't. Missy I will endlessly admire because she gave me a recipe for chocolate chip Nutella cookies and once battled off a swam of birds that invaded her classroom Hitchcock style. Andrew is a smart-ass but we still love him.

Because we processed in just like the students, the teachers had to line up in a particular order, and we had a harder time than you'd imagine, especially for a group with as many college degrees as we have. I felt slighted to see I was almost dead last on the list, then I realized those on the ends had the best seats because we filed in backwards. As a result I was almost dead center stage in the first row. Regardless we had a good time just lining up from left to right my coworkers; Sean, becky, Helene, Deirdre (who was actually me homeroom teacher at my high school when I was a freshman), Molly, and Corey.

Caroline, Tony, and Tom waiting patiently in line ready to start

The L-Z half of the class 

The A-K crowd

Kate, one of the class advisors sitting with Brianna, who wrote the class ode and is attending Emerson in the fall to become a writer professionally.

Derek the other class advisor and one of our football coaches sitting with the class officers

The "A" group all lined up to get their diplomas, I think its an especially good photo of Joe (in the dark suit and red tie) our vice-principal who is retiring this year.

Our superintendent Dr. Cullen delivering her speech, based on the life and works of Dr. Maya Angelou

Moving their tassels over to signify that they are officially graduated!

Jackie is a super girl, and I have known her mother for years. When I first started substitute teaching Laura (her mom) was always willing to help me out, and when I first met Jackie I was so excited because she was Laura's daughter. Turns out, she's just as sweet as her mom is. Jackie is going on to do great things at Stonehill next year.

Jess was in my last period Algebra II class last year, which was really the most delightful class imaginable. It was he best way to end my day. Jess in herself is a delight, mainly because you never know what she'll do next. A true free spirit who dances to the beat of her own drummer Jess has in the time I've known her; become a ski patroller, taken up oil painting, sent me to a costume shop to buy clothes, made her own prom dress, directed a steampunk film, and just two weeks ago hiked up Mount Washington and skied Tukerman's Ravine, just to name a few. Next year she's taking a gap year to go to Malaysia.

If I had to play favorites Tony (right) might be it. Another one of my Algebra II students he had the brightest, sunniest, most friendly disposition of any of my students. He was unfailingly helpful and courteous. He's a history nut, and gets the answer to my "This Day In History" question everyday. He's also a newsbag, and more gossipy than the worst girl. When we put up a college map to show what schools people were attending he filled in 3/4 of it. I was there through Tony's who college admission's process, he he will be attending my alma Mater, The University of Rhode Island next year.

Ed (short for Edmund, left) may be Jess' (see above) male equivalent. Also outgoing and a definite individual, he was the first person I saw after getting my job and ran across the parking lot to give me a high five. Though short in stature he's big on laughs and full of. Ed's the joker, never without a quip or a pack of cards for a trick. You can't see his pants but they are  fire engine red, and he has them in just about every color. A few months ago he went to New Orleans and brought me back a post card with a picture and the recipe for Hurricanes on it, I didn't even call him out on how inappropriate it was.   Ed plays the trumpet and works at a bowling alley, and he definitely laissez les bon temps rouler, as they say in the Big Easy. He will be continuing his education at Worchester State next year.

Thanks for bearing with me if you read all they way through. I know looking at a stranger's graduation is sort of like looking at someone else's wedding photos. But its something really big happening in my world, and I definitely wanted to feature it.

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