18 years in the making...and I now have a high school graduate in the house. Yikes.
The ceremony was initially marked by photos of the kids through the past couple years. It was the typical slide show at these sort of events. The difference was they had the music teacher playing the piano to the pictures. Sort of like watching a Charlie Chaplin movie in the 20's, I imagine. But the music was not anywhere near the sort you would enjoy at a silent movie. Instead of a celebration with high tempo fun music, the music was slow classical piano. It showed the teachers talents at the keyboard...but incredibly inappropriate for such a wonderful occasion these kids were enjoying. I leaned over to expat son and said, 'my slide show was better.' To which, he agreed.
I put together a slide show/movie of Amanda from pre-birth through today...all to the tunes of 'Just a Girl' by No Doubt and 'Iris' by The Goo Goo Dolls...and showed it at our own party for Expat Daughter. It evoked laughter and tears, exactly what was needed on a night to celebrate such an achievement.
I'd post it here...but it is nearly 60megs large. It's posted here. Family will get the DVD version delivered this summer. That party, which came on the heels of a long business trip and a flu bug, was very good...at least that is what many hungover people told me the next day.
Following the prolonged slide show (20 minutes!) and boring music, the ceremony turned to some entertainment and speeches. The entertainment was provided by the Yale Alley Cats, who were very good. The lead of the Alley Cats gave the key note address...pretty good multi-cultural ramble about the kids and the future.
During the speech, he made reference to a Spanish word for the future...of which, I cannot remember. I turned to our good friends from Argentina and all I got was this bemused look of 'huh???' They had no idea what he was talking about. But...it was a nice thought and a good speech to the kids. At least it wasn't some commie bureaucrat blabbering on and on about the omnipotence of the State!
The best speech, of course, was from the headmaster of the school. Initially, there were some thanks to go around to some staff, and the key point of that was that these people had been with the school since day 1...in 1996. Tai-tai and I looked at each other and thought...so was Expat Daughter?! But, fear not, the headmaster got up...walked over to expat Daughter and said, 'There was one other person who was here from the very start...' Great job. Then, he went on to tell personal stories of each of the kids...without notes...without stalling. Each story told something about that kid that made nearly everyone of them nod their head, or bow their eyes to shield either embarrassment of the story, or tears that he remembered.
Unfortunately for everyone, the headmaster who followed Expat Daughter all through school for all those years, is leaving this year. He built a great school...and built a great rapport, not only with parents, but the kids as well. The first person Expat Daughter wanted a photo with, was her favorite headmaster. In her words...He's cool.'
Once the kids got their certificates and assorted goodies...the evening just sort of broke up into a light supper and photos. My camera performs fairly well in the staged photos of people at close range...but try and take something from a distance...blah. You will see all the photos here.
She shed some tears with some friends that she knows she won't see again...and tried to get photo's with as many as possible. She is lucky, her graduating class is only 18 strong...so it was easy to spot friends and get that photo.
We left her with her friends, as they had a night of partying planned...this morning, the text message on my phone reads: 'OMG, my ears are still ringing from last night.' Must have had a good time.
Great job, kid...you've made your Mom and Dad extremely proud. Let's do this again in 4 or 5 years.
UPDATE: OK...how wierd is this...I posted this and then noticed it is the 888th post for this blog. For those of you outside of Chiner...8 is THE lucky number. And, any combination of 8 is even better. Not being a superstitious sort of guy...but, this is pretty cool.
UPDATE II: I've just figured out and posted the slideshow here. Check it out.