Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Beginnings, Middles & Ends

Graduation was almost two weeks ago, but I'm still thinking about it. I had the privilege of being a line leader that evening and as you can tell by the Cheshire Cat grin on my face, I had a wonderful time.

During the school year our HHS students are quite preoccupied. They don't always know the date, the time or where the big giant printer they sent their document to is (right behind you dear). They talk while they text, text while they listen and listen while looking past your face at something in the background far more interesting. In short, they aren't always present mentally despite being physically present in the same space you're occupying with them. It's a bit frustrating at times, I won't lie.

On graduation night the clueless, disinterested and distracted must have stayed home because every graduate was in his or her moment. How do I best describe that? Joy? Bliss? Glee? Euphoria? All of the above? I've never seen the students so plugged into what was happening around them. And while there were plenty of smart phones about, they were mostly used for taking pictures. The kids were speaking to each other, to staff and sharing stories and excitement.  It was impossible not to become giddy yourself.

In our busy, multitasking age few of us take the time to stop and smell the roses or savor a moment. I felt encouraged that our students did that night.

One of the speakers told her fellow graduates that she hoped high school wasn't the best time of their lives. If ever there was a moment to be present in, I think this was this one. The speaker's point (wise beyond her years this young lady is) was that if you claim a period of time in your past as the best, how open will you be to discovering the other (and typically unexpected) opportunities that await you?

As I sat with my row of graduates, I heard these words and thought about how everyone in Husky Stadium that night was at the beginning, middle or end of something in their life- career, school, stage of family life or marriage. Transitions between the degrees of being are often the most difficult. In my own family life we are nearly at the end of the school years for our sons, in the middle of the teen years and at the beginning of a new life in a new house when we move later this month (don't worry, I'll still be here at HHS next year). This season of change is has definitely made for some sleepless nights, but how sad would it be to think all the best experiences in my life were behind me?

We can't go back in time, only forward. It's important to celebrate and if needed, grieve for days gone by, but never to be stuck in them. Ms. Orest and I will miss many 2012 graduates next year. Thankfully the incoming freshmen will beginning their HHS journey and I hope that for many of them that includes a fair amount of time in the Library Media Center!

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