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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

West Coast trip, part 3; Graduation Interminable

(Disclaimer: Please do not think, while you are reading this, that I am not impressed with the students or school about which I am blogging, it's just that when one has a squirming 15 month old in hand one's patience gets a tad thin early on in the game.)

The whole point of this West Coast trip was my niece's high school graduation in Portland. Let me tell you how that went.

She went to Portland Christian High and was one of 73 who graduated on 1 June 2008. The ceremony was held in a large church in Vancouver, Washington. Her boyfriend (more on him in a later post..hehehee) was gracious enough to save us seats and, thank God, it was a pew in the very back of the auditorium.

They started the ceremony, the graduates paraded in. A couple of faculty had to speak, a student had to speak. Then an international student who was graduating had to speak. (The school has an excellent international program.) Then they had to honor ALL the international graduates. Then they had to honor all the international graduates' parents. Then the band had to play its number and then one of the students had to play her harp. Then they had to acknowledge every student who had earned some kind of honor during the course of their school career; drama (my niece was honored in this category), athletics, attendance, languages, speech and so forth and so on. Some students received multiple honors, their accomplishments were quite impressive.

It was at this point in the ceremony that I lost track of things because after 2 days of not having had a BM it was at this auspicious moment, during the whole reason for this West Coast trip as I stated earlier, that Ellen decided it was time to fill her diaper. She had been restless all along anyway, but now we had to get up and leave (I was grateful for the back row pew at that time). So there I was wandering around the halls looking for a place to change her. It took a while but I found the place. Apparently I wasn't the only one with a restless child; there were quite a few youngsters out in the halls. After I had changed her I stayed out in the hall with the others and watched the ceremony through the windows. Thankfully I missed most of the blessing thing. One of the faculty (I dunno if it was the principal or not) had to say a prayer for each student individually and assign them a word that described their personality. My niece was "counselor," a term her parents were somewhat at a loss to understand as applied to her, but anyway. This whole thing was a nice touch, no doubt, but it is amazing how long it takes to bless 73 students individually.

After the blessing they showed a "video" of all the baby pictures and the graduation pictures of each of the 73 students. Then there was another speech, I think, after which the choir had to get up and sing a couple songs and THEN they finally had the passing out of the diplomas.

Two hours and 10 minutes later graduation was over. Yea! I am terribly proud of my niece and all of her accomplishments. She has had quite a few hurdles in her life and has overcome them to do really well for herself.


moe said...

Uh-Oh: poo-nami !

I agree that sometimes adults just have to fake appreciation of graduation ceremonies. Only you said something nicer than that, didn't you ?

Amrita said...

Graduation ceremonies are pretty long and this one 's seems nice with the blessing and all.

Its hard for a baby to go thru it all.

Unknown said...

:) Congrats to your niece on graduating. I was chuckling as I read this because I know only too well just how long grad ceremonies can be! Being a teacher and having attended my fair share of grad ceremonies, I can honestly say that they are LONG!!!

Maybe it's just the hormones talking though! Now that I'm pregnant, I've noticed that I have problems sitting in one position for a long time! LOL!