Unfortunately there were also darned few clouds hanging in the air either and had I been using the part of my brain designed for actual thinking I would have brought an umbrella or two with us when my mother, our friend Amy, and I walked over to the Norwich Free Academy campus around 3:00 to attend the graduation ceremony which began at 4:00 p.m. with a massive processional!
At long last the speeches were done, the presentations were made, and it was the moment that all 546 of the kids sitting in the glaring sun on the athletic field and their friends and family surrounding them had waited four years for - the presentation of the diplomas! As I waited for Amanda's name to be called I tried to remember what had it been like for me way back in 1976 waiting my turn to walk across the stage and accept the certificate that closed the door on my youth and pointed me in the direction of adulthood and my own dreams but alas, like so many things anymore, the memories were sketchy at best. And of course there were no video cameras or score of photographers or parents with really good zoom lenses on their own cameras sitting in the stands to record the event while updating on Facebook and Twitter!
Amanda doesn't have my last name so luckily we didn't have to wait all the way to the O's before her name was called (and mispronounced as seems to be the norm) so shortly after she received her diploma my Mom, Amy, and I retreated to the shade on the side of the athletic field and waited for the ceremony to be over. I certainly didn't want my Mom to be one of the people that my co-workers needed to lend assistance to - especially considering that it was her birthday also and probably the last thing she wanted was a trip to the Emergency Room!
Once the last student finally received his diploma, the newly anointed alumni of the Norwich Free Academy Class of 2010 receded from the athletic field where they were greeted by cheering family and friends all immensely proud of their own graduates - myself included. As happy as Amanda was to have her high school career behind her, I still found it hard to believe that those four years had passed by so quickly and that my very last child had graduated from high school - having been leaped over by her younger sister by a mere six days!