For the first time in a long time I will not be going to a graduation ceremony or even know of someone graduating this June. But it is the season to celebrate school accomplishments… therefore I will revisit mine. The important one… high school. Not the ceremony, although that was an event in itself, but the end journey to that all important certificate that says you did it.
We live in a time of expediting our kids through the grades… cause even if they haven’t learned or possibly never showed for class, we don’t want them to feel bad or left out. Forty …plus a lot of… years ago that wasn’t the case, even for well-trained rats such as me who followed every rule to the letter.
A senior year class for those of us thinking we’d go to college and be great some day was College Prep English. There are two teachers who taught this class, one kind and friendly, the other… Mrs. Kelleher.
I spent my year sitting in front of her desk. She was short, stocky, walked with determination and seldom smiled. No one got a free ride from Mrs. K. You worked hard for every grade… even if it was a bright red “D” with the equally red remark “You can do better. Try again.” I lived in fear and thought my senior year would never end.
What a shock to get a notice that my participation in the graduation ceremony was in jeopardy because of two buttons needing attachment on the sleeves of a blazer made in tailoring class.
Really? After three years of Bonjour madame Fournier. Allez-vouz? Tres bien. Merci. in French class and agonizing over every word written for Mrs. K …two buttons were going to toss me on my ear.
I was cleared to participate in graduation. The all important buttons were attached to a jacket never worn, my amazing French skills never used and… my fear of Mrs. Kelleher has turned to admiration.
She was right… I can do better.