Monday, May 14, 2018

Graduation Bush Style

Parental seating in front of the stage.
 Graduation is a huge deal out where I live for a couple of reasons.  First, not everyone who starts high school graduates.  Second, of those who graduate, many never leave the village for further education.  Third, graduating classes are small so each student is the center of attention.

It is a tradition for the seniors to take all the decorations from the prom and use it to decorate the gym.  All  the big pieces, lights, and anything else that can be reused is kept.

The graduates enter from the corner across the gym

The pattern for the decoration is usually the same.  Students crowd in the entry way to the boys locker room which is covered by tinsel of some sort.

The walkway leads from there, through an arch around by the back stands before turning again to take the entering seniors to their seating in front of the parents.

Seniors always spend the day of graduation decorating the gym.  They arrange everything from creating the walkways, to setting up the chairs. 
Community seating
 Community and other family members sit in the bleachers for part of the time but as soon as the graduates start moving, people rush down as close as they can to take pictures.

The gym is usually filled to the brim with everyone from new born to over 90.  I think everyone is related to everyone so they are all there to celebrate, snap pictures, and clap for the students.

When students enter, they do so one at a time, marching slowly almost like a bride entering the church for her wedding.

Graduate beginning his walk.
They leave 4 to 5 feet between each student.  When they walk through the arch, they stop so family and friends can snap pictures of them.  You will notice their gowns are pink this year.  it is in memory of a young man who passed at the very beginning of his senior year. 

They could not graduate without remembering him.  He loved wearing pink in his memory.  I taught him and even after several months, I cannot wear the pink shirt he gave me just before school ended.

Each student enters carrying roses they give to their parents before they receive their diplomas but after the valedictorian and salutatorian have delivered their speeches.  The roses are a thank you for all the support they provided the students over the years.

The graduating class of 2018
When the big moment arrives, each graduate's name is called.  The students walks up to the podium where he or she receives the diploma. 

On the way down the stairs, they stop, hold open their diplomas so everyone can snap more pictures.  When everyone has finished taking pictures, the student returns to his or her seat and the next name is called out.

At the end, all the students are brought back up where they pose for a final picture after being declared as fully graduated.
At the end, everyone heads out to the cafeteria where the graduates are congratulated, hugged, and everyone is fed cake and punch. 

As I stated earlier, the class couldn't graduate without paying tribute to the young man who passed away so they had a chair wrapped in pink for him.  Several students carried pictures of him as they entered and placed the pictures on his chair.  They even included a rose for him.

It is not just this class who have included a memorial for the student who have passed. It is traditional to do this because most students are close so when one passes, it is strongly felt and students miss those who pass.  They choose to recognize them.

So you've had a glimpse of how our graduations differ from most states.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.

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