Having to go to all these graduations this month, has made me think about my own days of graduating. I remember clearly the first time that I ever graduated from school. NO, ‘graduating’ from preschool and kindergarten does not count!!
My first graduation memory was from my old elementary school, Herbert E. Lockhart Elementary School on St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands. Oh Lockhart, Dear Lockhart………
School: Lockhart Elementary School
It was our final year of elementary school and we were getting ready to begin practice for graduation. We began lining up girls on one side, boys on the other, by height. Then, my teacher tells me to go sit down in the cafeteria and wait. What the what?
I was already upset, but got over the fact that we had to go to an alternative school for our final year of elementary school. I already got over the fact that someone stole my schoolbag during the school-year and it was never found. Now, they wanted to tell me to sit aside for graduation because I won’t be in the line. My 6th grade heart was about to be turn apart.
I looked around at the other individuals who were sitting out of graduation. How did I end up with this bunch, I thought to myself? I did my work, hardly missed any days, and in 4th grade my GPA was 3.98 (according to my 4th grade teacher). I hadn’t asked her, but she had provided the information while comparing it to that of the current graduating class.
Here they come marching…….
My fellow classmates were being lined up according to height outside, while I sat in the cafeteria in disbelief. One of the teachers finally walked in and allowed the other students who were sitting with me to go back to class. Apparently, their graduation statuses were in question and the teachers didn’t want them to miss out on any work that would impact that further.
So again, my 6th grade self was wondering what the hell was going on. Why were they being allowed to get back to class and I still had to sit there? I watched and listened to everything like a hawk from that point on. My father was going to hear about this when I got home, I thought to myself.
Sigh of relief
Finally, after what felt like forever, a teacher came to me and told me to stand in front of the guys line. At that point, they had set up two lines outside, one for girls and one for guys. I was put in the front of the boys line. I looked back in the line to see if there were any other girls in this line. NOPE.
I looked at the girls line and looked at the position that I would’ve probably been standing had I been put in place. I was not that tall, so I would’ve been somewhere among the first 10 (who am I kidding; I’m short – try first 5) girls in the line.
Finally, a teacher asked if I knew why I was standing in this line. Of course, I said no. I was highly pissed, but now relieved that at least I had gotten into the line and my graduation status was not in question. I was 12, I wasn’t thinking about all the times I had been on the honor roll and had not given my GPA any further thought after my 4th grade teacher had mentioned it.
Much to my surprise, the teacher declared that I was the class salutatorian, 2nd in my class. WHOA!! Talk about relief and confusion all at the same time.
6th Grade Was Over
After reality hit that I was indeed graduating and I had in fact passed the 6th grade to move on to Junior High School, I couldn’t imagine being in a new place. I had spent the last 7 years with the same classmates, teachers, and friends. All of my teachers names and faces, I knew by heart. I had had my most embarrassing moment and my most memorable moments to date, among these people. What was next?
By the end of that day, I had probably experienced so many emotions for a young girl about to embrace a new chapter in my life. I am grateful that all these memories are still with me today and I hope that I never forget what it was like, when I have to relate to my own daughter one day.
Do you remember your first (or last) graduation experience? Hopefully, it didn’t have as horrific a beginning as mine. Share in the comments where you are proud to have graduated from in your lifetime.