It is the season for graduations - college, high school, and for my family - middle school. As a high school teacher I have attended graduations galore, but I can only remember one other graduation that moved me like this one and that was the year my twins graduated.
This was the third graduation I have attended this year. First, my daughter graduated from college. She choose my path and will be a teacher! When people ask what she is going to do, she jokingly replies, "I have a college degree and am officially unemployed." I believe her reply reflects the fear she shares with this generation of college graduates, who know they are going out to make a life in an uncertain world.
My second graduation was my son's middle school graduation. Ah, the excitement buzzed around the room! These kids flexed their adolescent muscles, ready to charge into high school and take command of the future. I pray that by the time they graduate, the world will be a more stable place.
My last graduation of the year was last night. I have had the pleasure of teaching the majority of the 2011 Class of Grundy High School. I know teachers are not supposed to have favorites, but my heart goes with these kids as they march out into the world. They know what they are facing down the road. They know what the enormous cost of college will do to them and their parents. They know how hard they are going to have to work. But for one night, they could forget that - be proud of their accomplishments and excited about the future. Watching them march out of that gym, full of hope and happy to meet the future head on, made ME feel like they could change things! It gave me hope that they could take this world and spin it around and make it a better place. And that's a feeling I haven't had in a long time...