Sunday, June 3, 2007

Congratulations Class of 2007

Yesterday was graduation. 10 seniors graduated for the Charter School where I teach. The graduation program was very touching. I realize how I have grown so attached to these students and I am sad they will be leaving next year.

Because the graduating class of 2007 was so small each senior had the chance to speak. I wish all schools could do it this way. I think it really solidified their departure and they were able to pass along their knowledge to the younger students. Also it was very touching for me to hear my name mentioned in their speeches. Being a teacher really is the most rewarding job ever. One of my favorite students listed a few things that each of her teachers had taught her.

“From Miss Riddle I learned that good things come to those who wait”

She’s playing the harp at my wedding so I assume that it might have some reference to the fact that I’m 28 and just now getting married. In Utah this is considered ancient. I’m sure that seems beyond ancient to seniors, but personally 28 seems like an ideal age to tie the knot.

Of the 10 graduating seniors 9 were female. When the lone male stood up to give his talk he said:

“Quite often Graduation talks begin with the phrase ‘This is what I have learned, but rarely do they begin with the phrase’ I’m the only graduate in pants.”

Another of my favorite students came for a family where the practice of plural marriage is still a family belief. It took me a few months to get over this. She talked about the people she had been close to that had passed away including her Grandfather. Her most memorable sentence was:

”I know my Grandfather is sitting in the audience surrounded by his wives and they look on him lovingly as the man with whom they shared their lives.”

I along with the orchestra teacher was in charge of the music for graduation. Some of my singers didn’t show up, which was a little bit unnerving. The Orchestra teacher forgot to bring the electric keyboard so to get him back I passed around a paper with a quote he had said “Honestly I have very few social skills.” The students died laughing. Obviously this little prank of mine shows that I am still in high school my self.

So class of 2007 is gone. I hope they remember the 3 steps to enjoy college that I drilled into their heads.

  1. Move away from home. Live with other freshman in the dorms your first year.
  2. Have a cool summer job. Drive buses in Alaska, cut pineapple in Hawaii, be a river guide in Moab, do something that will give you fun stories to tell when you return to school.
  3. Leave the country. During your college tenure find some way to do a study abroad or back pack through Europe with your friends. These things can only be done while you are young.

It has been 10 years since I graduated my self. I think almost all of the females in my class have 1 to 5 children. I have 0. But I do feel good about my accomplishments since that time.

  1. I graduated College.
  2. I served a LDS mission.
  3. I have a full time job.
  4. I am debt free ($300 away)
  5. I ran a marathon.
  6. I did a vocal senior recital.
  7. I climbed Mount Rainer.
  8. I backpacked through Europe.
  9. I found the love of my life.
  10. I have figured out how to be happy.

So congratulations to class of 2007 and to me for to!


Arwen said...

Wow. Joanie, I loved your latest entry. I am so glad you enjoy being a teacher. I look forward to seeing you soon!

Ben said...

Yes, Congratulations to you! I hope your wedding is lovely!

Marilyn said...

Wow! you can enjoy the day!