Monday, June 29, 2015

Dispatch #39: Graduation Season

by Lupe Fernandez

High School Graduation. The end school. The end of senior year. The last of the finals. The last class. Goodbye lockers. Goodbye P.E. Goodbye cafeteria food. Goodbye to the one you want to love but never got the chance.

Oh, then there's college. But before we pack up and agonize over rising tuition, let's stop and smell the ceremony.

Last month I attended a graduation ceremony for a family friend, a Mt. Eden Monarch. I know. I know. You're thinking, "Hey! You're a Sunset Falcon. What in the crazy curriculum on your doing at Mt. Eden?" Sunset High School has ceased graduation ceremonies in 1990.

Gone are the clanging wires against the light posts. Gone are platform shoes. Gone are the names I knew. This is the 21st Century. The era of social media, wi-fi and the cell phone.

But wait.

Some things remain the same. The seniors still march to Pomp & Circumstance played by the high school band. They wear cap and gowns. And there are still those speeches. You know the ones. March to the chime of a different xylophone. Always take the path less muddy. We are the future customers. Etc...

Family and loved one still wait for that special name to be called. The audience still hollers and whistles.

Eventually, warrants were dropped.
In regards to audience cheering, the school principal mentioned a high school in Senatobia, Mississippi where the superintendent asked the crowd not to shout or applaud until after the ceremony was over. Mt. Eden's Principal responded that parents, family and loved ones also worked hard to get their kid to graduate. They deserve to shout for every name.

"Let's them hear it in Mississippi!"

A great roar went up from the audience.

Senatobia Municipal School District Superintendent Jay Foster of Mississippi, are you listening?

Diversity. Diversity. Diversity. What about diversity in the era of the 1%?

The surnames in the program reassured me. Dabu. Ezenekwe, Firethunder Euresti, Duy Ho, Van Le, Kumar, Muzammil, Raj, Safiq, Tungol and the good old American last name of Isais. Once upon a time, such names would've been considered foreign. Today, they claim their education.

Sometimes, even rainbows are the same.

Congratulations Class of 2015.


  1. My high school graduation was a lot smaller than yours and I have fabulous memories of it. Love the post. Thanks!

    1. Always that's not it...Never that's not it...Today's Youth...As Alfred E. Neuman once said, "What? Me Worry?"
      Mad Middleaged

  2. I remember my 8th grade graduation when we were allowed to wear high heels (no more than 2 inch" and lipstick for the first time.

    1. High heels and lipstick! Scandalous!
      Liquor and Cigarettes


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