Saturday, June 21, 2008

2008 Heritage Christian School Graduation

(Myself and Amanda, one of my writing students this year and also a longtime acquaintance from church)

One of the very best things about Heritage Christian School, with whom we submit our paperwork for homeschooling in California, is the senior high graduation. The very first graduation I attended back in 1996 (the spring before we started homeschooling with Heritage), I was so impressed by the twelve senior high graduates who each gave a two-to-five minute speech, thanking their parents, siblings, extended family, friends, and God. They were so well-spoken and earnest, these graduates, brimming with self-confidence, looking forward to their future of college education and serving God with their life's work.

Yesterday at 3:45 PM, I slid into the very last pew of College Avenue Baptist Church, our new graduation venue, feeling rather wilted after running errands in 100+ degree heat. And then I watched eighty-some students file in to "Pomp and Circumstance," proud in their deep blue gowns and caps with mortar boards. Eight of the graduates were in my writing classes this year and three of them are also part of our church, Lake Murray Community Church. I applauded as Hannah, Nathanael, Ryan, Michelle, Kris, Elise, Emily, Erin, Megan, and Amanda came forward to accept their diplomas and have a photo taken with our principal, Mary York. I very much enjoyed hearing several of them speak -- with eighty-some graduates, the graduation speech is now optional and has been shortened to 90 seconds.

After the graduation, I caught up with Johanna, as she has tutored several of the graduating students as well, and I also chatted with some of the parents and two writing teachers from a different Class Day site. (We commiserated over the "bad" year we had all experienced with our writing classes this year, so now at least we don't feel so alone in our frustration.) Heritage dropped the pot luck dinner idea this year and instead had Pat & Oscars cater dinner, and several juniors served cake afterwards and kept the water jugs full of refreshing ice. In the large fellowship hall, photos of the graduates were playing on two huge screens, including pictures of the senior formal, grad night, Class Day, baby photos, etc. It was a lovely evening despite the horrid heat, but the thought that kept coming to mind the entire day was that my own eldest will be here in just two years, a graduate ready to take on the world. Our educational experiences at home will be at an end, and she'll be ready to be her own person, to do what God directs her to do. And I felt, more fully than ever, to make these last two years really COUNT.

Congratulations, Heritage Christian School Class of 2008!

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