Graduating under sauna conditions

It was over 95 degrees today and graduation was held in a non-air-conditioned auditorium. Plastic fans were handed out at the door but all they did was move the hot air around. Plus pumping a hand fan seems to produce more heat than any coolness produced by the consequent “breeze”. It wasn’t clear, under these sauna conditions, that we would be able to sit through all the music and speeches and the handing out of diplomas. In fact, some paramedics were on hand, just in case.

At our school, the students vote on which teacher from NK through 8th grade is to give the commencement address. This year a teacher was chosen who is leaving next year to pursue her doctorate at Penn State.

Graduation speeches always run the risk of being trite, or too sentimental, or pedantic. But leave it to CJ, her speech hit just the right note…quite literally, as she used song lyrics to structure the point of her words. She is a runner and has a motivational mix on her ipod to push her to “run the extra mile”. She actually played excerpts from the songs from her ipod and then talked about her selections as inspiration for the 8th grade class and their journey to high school.

From Earth, Wind, and Fire’s “Shining Star” to Kanye West’s “Stronger” (radio edit) and then to Jackson 5’s “I’ll be there”,  she held the 8th graders and the rest of us in a kind of thermal inversion as we actually forgot how hot we were. Though wilted in the steamy haze, our spirits were undampened.

As the students and teachers marched out during the recessional, we all dreamed of our life’s journeys, our futures, the adventures that lie ahead, and the ice cold lemonade outside the auditorium doors.

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1 Response to Graduating under sauna conditions

  1. Michael says:

    Congratulations Graduate! I love your ending: As the students and teachers marched out during the recessional, we all dreamed of our life’s journeys, our futures, the adventures that lie ahead, and the ice cold lemonade outside the auditorium doors. Not only that I loved that the teachers were dreaming as well!

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