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Carol Perkins: Thoughts on graduation

Thoughts on High School at Graduation Time - tonight, May 29, 2014, at 7pmCT in Edmonton, KY: Some simply survived high school. Some played through high school. Some adored every minute of it and some hated to see the bus roll up to the door. The fact is that after the twelve years we all went through together, we left with different memory books. No one can say, however, that those years left us untouched. I choose to remember the good. What do you remember? - CAROL PERKINS
The next earlier Carol Perkins column: Carol Perkins: Memorial Day, a reverent time Posted May 25, 2014.

By Carol Perkins

Although I don't watch Dr. Phil as often as I once did, one thing he has said many times is that we all have our defining moments. Whether good or bad, there are times that will cause us to pause and take note of a situation, and then log that situation into the part of the brain that stores facts, information, and emotions.

I once made a list of my own defining moments. There were more than I thought. Many of them we all have in common, but most are particular to each. I want to focus on a defining moment we all share. The night we graduated (or should have graduated) from high school.


50th year out of high school

This will be my fiftieth year out of high school and the night and the people with whom I graduated are still very vivid. With a graduating class of only forty-nine students, each was more than a person sitting across the aisle in science class or the person painfully trying to remember lines from Romeo and Juliet as he sweated through his shirt in front of the class. They were more than dancing partners at the skating rink or a sleigh ride down a snowy hill. They were my friends.

Graduation itself is not the defining moment itself

What is defining about a high school graduation? Not necessarily the night itself but what led up to the night. For some, high school was a top-of-the-world experience. Popular, smart, beloved by teachers, winner of honors, selected for positions, sought after by underclassmen, and chosen for important roles at various events-not a bad definition. When a person leaves high school feeling good, then confidence will likely follow. However, some never move on. Nothing matches the high school glory days, so they relive them to whomever will listen. They define themselves by what once was.

However, for others high school may be a reminder of how invisible they felt, how average or below, how indifferent others were about them, or how uninviting they felt among their peers.

A HS defining moment may have been a lack of money situation

A high school defining moment may have been when a student had no money to go to the prom and promised himself that he would never be without money and his children would not miss an event because of the lack of it. Another defining moment may be when a student is asked to sing a solo in the choir instead of the teacher giving the solo to the kid everyone expected to have it. It may have been being nominated for homecoming queen and winning over much prettier and more popular girls. The defining moments for high school students are endless.

This high school class was no different than most

My high school class was no different than most. There were the studious kids who didn't care to join anything, the Ag boys who still know the creed, the jocks who remember their games and the stats, the cheerleaders who remember the boys who played, the FHA girls who earned those state degrees, the Beta kids who presented skits at the state convention, winning most of the time, and those who sang in the choir or played in the band or did as much as possible to participate in all of these. All of these activities indirectly helped to define who we turned out to be.

Some simply survived high school. Some played through high school. Some adored every minute of it and some hated to see the bus roll up to the door. The fact is that after the twelve years we all went through together, we left with different memory books. No one can say, however, that those years left us untouched. I choose to remember the good. What do you remember? - CAROL PERKINS

Carol Perkins, the columnist, is author of several books, co-host of the radio show "Susan & Carol Unscripted," live Tuesdays at 10amCT on the Hoss, 99.1 FM, and is owner of Main Street Screenprinting, 601 S Main Street, Edmonton, KY. Phone 270-432-3152 or 270-670-4913. Just this week her business has expanded with Carol's Backroom Boutique The Grand Opening is Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, May 28-29-30 & 31, 2014.


This story was posted on 2014-05-29 03:20:33
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