Life Story: Chapter Fifty Nine

Welcome to a series of stories that basically make up my autobiography. It’s not entirely thorough, but I’ll do the best I can with the memories locked away inside my head. Could be therapeutic for me. Could be humorous for you. Either way, enjoy…

Previously on Life Story… I took college level biology for college credit during my senior year. It was a mistake on a lot of levels.

But enough about the classes I took. Remember graduation? Yeah… good times.

Okay, really, I don’t remember much about it. I mean, it was graduation. How different from every other graduation in America could it have been?

In the weeks leading up to the actual event, we had a rehearsal, or a “mock graduation” if you will. Everyone who felt like participating dressed up in their caps and gowns and decorated the caps to reflect the next step in our lives. In my case, I decorated my cap to show off my decision to attend Bluefield College in the following fall. And, if I say so myself, I did a pretty crappy job of decorating it.

The mock graduation took place in the school’s auditorium and was somewhat uneventful. Though, and this is pure speculation, when some of the guys sang Boyz II Men’s “It’s So Hard to Say Good-Bye” there probably wasn’t a dry eye in the house. Except maybe for my eyes. Not much of a crier. And, high school was kind of the worst, so I wasn’t planning on missing it too much.Life Chapter 59 - CryingAfter the mock graduation, the seniors loaded up a bunch of school buses and took a trip to the Roanoke Civic Center where we rehearsed the real graduation ceremony. They told us what to expect. It was boring. But we got to leave school for the afternoon, so it seemed like a fair trade.

Graduation itself took place on a warm Saturday in mid-June. There we sat in the Civic Center auditorium, a sea of purple, just waiting to cross the stage and take our diplomas. This was the culmination of 12 years in the Roanoke City Public School system. we were ready to get out of it. I don’t think anyone tripped. I know I didn’t. I remember being a little afraid that would happen.

I’m pretty sure a few people snuck in a few beach balls and inflated them during the playing of “Pomp & Circumstance.” And then the school superintendent, Dr. Buzzkill, made us give them up. Other than that, the ceremony was just as boring as the rehearsal. There were a lot of speeches and no real screw-ups. All in all, not a very memorable event.

Lunch afterwards was pretty outstanding. Red Lobster. ‘Cause that’s how we roll.Life Story 59 - Red Lobster

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