Sighs of relief can be heard all over town tonight as the 2015 graduating senior class at Davis High School dons their red robes and hats. Mothers and fathers will be sighing in relief. Part of their frayed nerves will be glad their little devil has finished high school; the other part will weep for their little angel who is about to be thrown out into the cold, cruel world.
And seniors will be sighing because this year which has lasted almost an eternity is finally over. They will hear at the commencement ceremonies that this is the end of an era and they are going forth as tomorrow's leaders to mold the world, conquer new territories, etc., etc.
That is what the speaker at my graduation said--it was more than 40 years ago so I might be a little rusty on the terminology. I do remember thinking that he had turnips for brains because we'd already gotten that business taken care of...everyone of us had conquered new worlds. All of us had been to Texas and some of us to the surrounding states. As far as that molding stuff...no one was ever putting us bunch of radical hippies into a mold of any kind.
I remember the first thing I did upon reaching my seat was give thanks I'd made it that far and not fallen on my face in those three inch spike heels. Looking back, I imagine that's why they developed the practice of leaving so much space between the seniors. It wasn't so Billy Bob's poppa could take a picture of him as he entered the last phase of his life before he set off on a mission to save the world. It was simply because if some girl fell off her stilt-shoes the whole class wouldn't topple like a bunch of dominoes.
Most of us fidgeted in our seats that night but we did try to listen even though other things kept creeping into our minds.
Finally, the speaker gave us one last bit of advice about how we should respect our past and treasure our future. And then it was my turn to walk up the stairs, across that mile long stage and get my diploma. While I was worrying about that, I realized the superintendent of the school was saying something to each student so I added "thank you" to my list of things I had to do. Shake with the right hand, take my diploma with the left one, find a place in my jaw for the gum I was not supposed to be chewing, balance my weight on dime size steel taps, keep the swinging tassel on my mortar board from tickling my nose so I don't sneeze all over the high school superintendent. And I was supposed to do it all with sweaty palms and a wad of bubble gum stuck between my two front teeth.
That, dear hearts, was my first successful feat as an adult. I left the auditorium with my dignity intact and it was amazing in those next few weeks how much my whole class learned. Number one was how little we actually did know. Number two was how smart our parents had gotten in such a short length of time. At mid-senior year they were only slightly smarter than a box of rocks and now they actually had acquired a little bit of sense.
So hats off to the 2015 seniors and to the parents of those students for living through the whole year of senioritis. You parents should be given awards...you are survivors!!!