Friday, 13 June 2008

And at the end, a commencement! It was a glorious, breezy, sunny day, and Will's senior year graduation was fantastic.
It may be the end of high school, but they call it a commencement here — the start of life after and beyond school, perhaps? We're unsure.

The speeches were all short, we had a well-sung national anthem, the flags all billowed, there was lots of rock and roll, there weren't too many mentions of life being a journey, there were quite a few laughs, everybody got the same treatment (the high achievers all wore white tassels on their robes and had asterisks by their names in the program), and everything was relaxed and sociable.
Having a surname beginning with Z, Will was right up the back of the stand ...
... so that allowed me to get some pics of him and his best mate, Paul (whose surname begins with a V), before the ceremony started. It also meant he was the last one to receive his diploma — after the other 414 had filed past the school principals. We were very chuffed to hear a big cheer go up when his name was called, and we'd also had Lily on the phone, up in Olympia, so she could hear.
The school invited its very first principal, Mr Jaffe, to share the event with the current one, Mr Kohn, as it was Mr J who'd started the school, four and a half years ago, when all they had was a cluster of trailers in what is now the student car park.
So it was an emotional day for Mr J and the hundred or so students who had been at the school since it began to celebrate its first senior graduation.

Today, this school is an absolute corker, with great academic ranking (it's sending nine kids off to Stanford, one to UC Berkeley and one to Harvard that we know of), enviable arts courses, and great teachers.
Back at its start, Mr Jaffe had to persuade the families of its first students to stick with it and help create the sort of school they wanted. Today, almost $150 million has been spent on its campus and there's a lottery for next year's freshman places.
Will's been very lucky.


M said...

Congratulations Will!

Fairlie said...

Congratulations to your Will on his 'commencement'. Very cool to be the last one given his diploma. I think you either want a name starting with Aa...or one starting with a Z. In between tends to get a little yawnsome.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on raising such a fine young man. You have done well.