Wednesday, May 23, 2007

I tried to come up with a classier title for this piece. Graduation goofs. Pomp and circumstances beyond control. But then I decided simple is best - yesterday was Tuesday and it turned out to be a weird day.

We didn't do school because Sister #2 came home early. Instead I spend the morning running errands with Mom. For about a week I'd hoped to get to Brad's, the biggest garden store, to search for herbs. They had some nice plants (owie prices) but I went ahead and splurged on thyme, sage, chocolate mint, spearmint and oregano. I use a lot of sage and oregano.

The vegetable flats were on sale for $10.99, so we got exotic things like red onions, habanero peppers, chocolate beauty peppers, celery, broccoli and beets. The boys grow the peppers to enter in the fair. I'm trying my hand at some container gardening this summer.

Got home and spent the rest of the afternoon working on various writing projects. Then it was time to go to Austin's graduation. For those of you who don't know him, Austin is my great nephew. He's Justi and Tim's son and is five years old. Kindergarden graduation.

There is something "off" about five year old graduating in the first place. I see it as some gigantic conspiracy with the cap and gown industry to get more dollars from what is probably not a best selling item. Not enough people graduating in May and June? Let's start a new trend---let the little people graduate too! Sometimes I wonder where this will lead. Graduating from 1st Grade? Second? Preschool?

The graduation took place an hour away so I left in plenty of time - I thought. (Always a sure indication you haven't left soon enough.) Scrambling though town I searched in vain for a gas station where the gas was less than $3.49 a gallon---angry at myself for not filling up that morning at $3.15.

My directions were to go to the OLD high school which was now the NEW elementary school. It was the high school were several of my nieces and nephews graduated. Okay, I could find it. I thought. The OLD high school was still---well, the OLD high school. I walked in on an Awards Ceremony (what a heck of a place to put a door!) and saw no five year olds. Outside, I grabbed a bystander and asked where the elementary school was located. The other side of town. (It's always the other side of town when you're in a hurry. )

I was already late but since it was a small town (only two stop lights), I managed to find the light, make a turn by the water company and did find the elementary school. The streets--all one way--were clogged with parked cars. I drove around the school twice, looking for somewhere to park and ended up turning illegally down a driveway and shooting across the soccer field to a clear patch of grass. It was a long walk back to the school and was now 7:15.

Figuring I'd missed most of the graduation, I hurried Mom along and we got to the gym. The old fashioned, un-air conditioned, pre-1950's gym and discovered we hadn't missed much but the incoming procession. There were 90! graduates. Being a great grandmother, Mom got to sit on the folding chairs for the elite guests. I stood near the door. I did try to get up on the bleachers but they were packed with wall to wall people and it was HOT! LIke people sweating and fanning themselves with programs hot.

I got there in time for the "musical" part of the program. The kids sang "Three Cheers for the Red, White and Blue," while counting on their fingers. They did a cute version of "The knee bones connected to the. . . ." and two other garbled songs I couldn't understand a word of.

Then came the "diplomas." Each child's name was called and his or her teacher would squat down beside the child for a photo op. Some of the teachers were smarter than others in their clothing choices. Let's put it this way--you can see a LOT when someone is squatting on a stage.

After that they had a slide show---we waited and waited and waited--while the Power Point thing goofed up. Eventually they did get it running and we saw some cute pictures of a year in the life of a kindergarden class. (For sale at $7.00 bucks in the back of the gym.)

Despite the hassles, the little kids were cute in their caps (no gowns) and dress up clothes. The little girls wore their best dresses and some of the boys were in nice shirts, pants and ties. Sniff, they looked all of six or seven! How time flies. . . .

While I'd like to have a picture of Austin on this blog, I can't. When I got there I realized the batteries in my camera had died! The end to an imperfect day! Thankfully, his mom had bought a disposable camera for the ceremony.

I did hear some good news when I got home. My friend, Erica, is a finalist in the Genesis writing contest!!!!! Hooray, for her! I'm sure the competition was stiff so this is a great accomplishment. She won't know if she won the contest until later in the year. Finaling in the first round is a bit like winning the state beauty pageant and now she's going on to nationals---writing wise! Let's keep hoping for more good news!


Erica Vetsch said...

Thank you, Donna. I'm still walking on air.

90 Kindergarten graduates? EEEK! No wonder you were so anti.

I laughed out loud at the view of the squatting teachers.

CJ said...

Kindergarten graduations are sooo cute. What a picture you painted with clothing choices and squatting.

Congratulations to Erica (Tamsin). Ya done good!

Anonymous said...

I love Kindergarten graduations. But time flies by so fast and before you know it, you are at their High School grad. Congrats to Austin! And I'm so happy to hear the news on Erica!!! You so deserve it, Tam!!


PattyK said...

Yes, congratulations to Erica. That is awesome!

Your description of the graduation was a riot, Donna. . .but I'm glad I only experienced it vicariously!