Thursday, May 28, 2020

I couldn’t let it pass without addressing such a milestone here on the blog. I haven’t fully processed it and maybe in part that is because of the strange type of closure we experienced. Also, we have photos next week in cap and gown, so I don’t have those yet. Also, several of you gave me suggestions for how to make the day special. Thank you.

So, how did we get here? How did more than 13 years of educating my twins go so quickly? I say more than 13 years because before their K-12 public school experience, we had the learning we did at home and at their daycare/preschool. To anyone that had a hand in their education, I say thank you! On one hand, I feel like my work is done, but on the other hand, I know they will still need us for many things, especially in this strange world we are currently navigating. So, I may come back with more thoughts on having high school graduates, but for today, here is what I have…

I decided to enter Kroger and look for a cookie cake. They didn’t have any but I found a plain one with a white border and the cake decorator was happy to do this for me in less than five minutes. I had to clean out my classroom from 8-10, so I did this afterwards.

I set up the dining room table with things they hadn’t seen before: their framed senior photo, balloons tied to jolly ranchers (one of their favorites), their cap and gown, their senior gift (a water bottle) and senior t-shirt. Jack came out and saw it and said, “Who died?” I guess he thought it looked like a memorial.

Tom watched from work because it was at 11:00 a.m. There were technical difficulties and it didn’t get fixed until 11:30 – just par for the course these days. The boys and I watched it together and the boys joked around a bit.

Jack turned out to be one of the valedictorians – anyone who had a 4.0 for the first 7 semesters. Don’t ask about his last semester, please. Over the course of 4 years, he took 9 AP courses and exams. His real name is James. Jackson is his middle name.

Mason did not end up with a 4.0, but he was pretty close. He took 11 AP courses and exams.

There is so much more I want to say about their 4 years and there are many photos I want to dig up.

Our principal gave a nice speech, as did the class president. Their beloved junior English teacher and one of the teachers who took Mason to Europe this fall read all of the seniors’ names and wore his Harry Potter costume to do so. Why didn’t I get a picture? So, that was about it for the “graduation” and then I made a nice dinner and we had the cookie cake for dinner when Tom was with us.

Our principal:

There are so many thoughts and so many words that I want to say. This was not just their high school but a second home. I found out I was pregnant with them in my second year at this school and had them in my third year. They came to countless activities, helped me in my room, and ran the halls more times than I could count until they became freshmen. I don’t even think they will realize the scope of that until they are much older. They handled having a mom who was a teacher with grace and didn’t take advantage of it. In four years, they only missed 3 days of school.

And, I will leave you a view of my empty, sad classroom. On one hand, I am happy to tie up this year because it ended on such a sad note. On the other hand, I am not ready to leave this year behind. I was talking to a colleague and we realized we have been away from our classrooms for longer than we are away from it for the summer! Isn’t that crazy? Yes, that is Ricky Martin looking at you.

I have all the feels right now!

As you are reading this, I am wrapping up my grades and having a final virtual faculty meeting.

I wish I could leave you with some optimism for the start of next school year, but there is still so much uncertainty. I will plan for the worst and hope for the best, maybe?

Thanks for listening, friends! You’re the best!


21 thoughts on “We have Graduates!

  1. Congratulations Amy! You did a great job celebrating your boys! How cool that you had a valedictorian in the house. It is crazy to think that we are still in such a state of unknown and the new school year isn’t really that far off. I wonder what it will look like!
    Hang in there my friend!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Loved this post! What an exciting day for you all. You definitely made the most of it & have so much to be proud of with your boys! What an awesome experience you all have shared together. Congrats!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Congrats, Jack and Mason! It sucks so much how school ended for them and so many. And at the same time, what a valuable lesson for entering “adulthood”…life can take lots of unexpected and disappointing turns, so buckle up! Here’s hoping we’re back to somewhat normal next year. I’m totally not prepared for having my own senior…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They handled it like champs to be honest. I did not handle it well. It’s surreal. This changes ACT dates, college visits, and so much more for your senior’s year. I hope life goes back to normal sooner rather than later. Thank you!!!!


  4. You deserve the feels today! It’s a huge accomplishment to have 2 grads that did so well and a huge let down that there was such a unusual ceremony to mark the occasion. Of course you made the best of it, everything looked great and huge congrats to your sons!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I have had all the emotions this week. And as you know the students become surrogate kids so it’s just a lot of doors closing. I hope to write more words and show more pictures. Just closed out my year today! The tractor pics are adorable!


  5. Phew, that was emotional! Congratulations to your boys! (and you of course :-D)

    My oldest is graduating in ten days, they will meet up with the class in school. They have planned it so there is only one class at a time in the school building… But no parents of course. We will take her to a nice restaurant and have bought a very nice gift…

    So you are on summer break now!?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Is graduation the same there? Cap and gown and all that? Will she go to college but live at home?
      That is a good idea but sad for parents.
      Yes, I am on summer break as of Friday but it didn’t feel like it because I had some loose ends to tie up. Also, we have to go to school 3 times next week for book return, diploma handing out and a parade for the students to drive by the teachers. Oh and a cap and gown photo. All of this should have been done last week. I might teach online summer school too – just 10 hours a week for a month.


      1. Yes, graduation is normally a really big thing here! They graduate from high school when they are 19 and have a lot of festivities. No gown, but a beautiful white cap that has looked the same for more than a hundred years. Google “studentmössa”, they are very nice! We don’t have college, they go straight on to university, but she is actually doing a year of military service, believe it or not! It’s “semi-mandatory” in Sweden, it changes from year to year.
        Enjoy your last week of “school”! It sounds great to teach summer school, the students need a positive force like you!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I will look that up! What is her military assignment? I am familiar with that as Spain has a 9 month service or did. My Spanish boyfriend was simply a lifeguard for a government organization!
        I am using the term college as university – it is the same here or at least I think it is! It takes four years to get a Bachelor’s degree. That is what I did and then I started teaching and did my Master’s while teaching and in summer and then I did another Master’s the same way. I did all of that within 10


      3. Many thanks for explaining that to me! It feels important for me as an English teacher to understand a bit about how the system works. Many of my students ask about studies in the us. So you have two masters!? Good job! I’ve also collected a lot of credits, but not while working like you!
        My daughter will actually be a flight mechanic, so cool! I mean, Top Gun, bring it on!

        Liked by 1 person

      4. I have a Bachelor or Arts in Spanish with Secondary Education certificate and a Masters in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in Spanish and a Masters in Administration and Supervision because I thought I wanted to be a principal. Every teacher had to have a Masters started within 5 years of teaching and finished in 10 years. Then you get paid more. The second Masters gave me even more pay. It’s kind of a confusing system. Teachers in the US are very well educated but we still don’t get enough respect and people don’t really know how much schooling we have.
        Your daughter will be a flight mechanic? That’s so cool! My Dad was an Air Force fighter pilot. So university isn’t required for that job, right?


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