Sunday, June 14, 2009

The Graduate (no, not the movie)

Thursday night the family gathered at Ashley Plantation for an evening of celebration.

Our nephew, Emory was headed for college!

His parents and two other sets of parents had rented a room and they threw a party for their sons. The boys had known each other I think since kindergarten. They are very close.

After a teary prayer, we all wolfed out buffet style. I had BBQ.

One of the parents showed a video of the three boys, following them from babyhood to adult hood. Many "awwww" moments, as you can imagine.

Friday night, LBHS had its graduation ceremonies at the Roanoke Civic Center in the coliseum.

My husband was on duty but managed some personal time so he could attend. I had to meet him there.

Parking at the Civic Center is awful. I thought I was early but the traffic and parking was so bad that I was almost late.

Anyway, we found seats with the rest of the family and waited for the graduates to appear.

I snapped the first shots of Emory as he walked out onto the coliseum floor.

The event lasted just over an hour; I had thought it would take longer to graduate 260 kids but apparently not.

Here is Emory receiving his diploma:

Unfortunately because of the space and the lighting, etc., etc., and the fact that I apparently could not take pictures properly that night, my shots of the ceremony are not good. Most of them were so blurred they were unusable. I was using the Nikon D-40 but perhaps should have taken the Canon.

I should stop here and not continue, but I have to say that this was the rowdiest, most undignified graduation ceremony I have ever attended. Let me tell you, as a reporter, I have attended many, many graduation ceremonies and none matched this one.

The administration said nothing about making a lot of noise or holding applause, and so, of course, there was a LOT of noise.

On either side of us people had air horns, which they blasted with great regularity. While many parents were there dressed in their Sunday best, there were other people there in blue jeans. Folks besides us hooted, clapped, yelled and just generally conducted themselves as if they were at a lady mud wrestling match.

At times it was so loud you couldn't even hear the names announced. That was another thing. They didn't give full names. It was "Herb Smith" not Herbert Walter Smith or whatever. And the programs they handed out were done on gray paper with red ink. They are not at all legible to my eyes, and I know that older folks just looked at them and grimaced.

Decorum was sadly lacking. My husband became more and more irritated as the event went on. Afterwards he fumed about the lack of respect showed to the graduates as well as to the older folks attending the ceremony.

At any event, the boy is now a man and he is heading off to University of South Carolina this fall. He will be a trauma surgeon. I am very very proud of him and I love this boy so much it makes my chest hurt. I doubt he knows that but maybe someday he will think back on his old aunt and remember her with fondness.

I know I will always think of him with love.


  1. My most recent Canon shot photos that were taken indoors were blurry as well. I wish camera companies would find a solution to this in their products.

    He's a handsome young man! I wish him much luck and success (which hard work in school will provide him with).

    Off to the skin doctor... very busy for me lately.

    The Blue Ridge Gal

  2. Sorry for the disrespectful behavior. The graduation we attended at Princeton was lovely. We all dressed up in fancy clothes, the whole names were called, it was reverent. Fitting for a life transition.

    There is a time and a place for laid back behavior. Like a barbecue! Seems like too many lines are blurred and everyone suffers as a result.

    As for your sweet relationship with your nephew, what a lovely thing. I doubt he will ever forget your love and affection. Have missed your blog. Glad to be back!

  3. Congratulations to Emory! He is a very good-looking young man. How wonderful that you are so close to him. I'm sure that means a great deal to him and always will.

    Maybe I'm old-fashioned, but I'm right there with you on the lack of decorum in so many modern high school graduations. We had the same thing happen at BOTH of my children's graduations. And that was after the crowd WAS instructed to hold their applause. They completely ignored that and let loose with air horns, cowbells, hollers, hoots, whistles, and even chants like we were at a football game or something. I sat there and felt very, very irritated and very, very old. At least, they DID say the entire names.

  4. Congratulations to Emory! But I'm sorry the ceremony wasn't what you expected. That's horrible that you couldn't hear the names.


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