I had just been to my nephew’s graduation from high school yesterday and I must say that graduations these days are nothing compared to graduations in my time during the 80’s. When I graduated from high school in 1984, we wore white togas, a graduation gown which we wore on top of our formal clothes, and a cap with a tassel. The tassel was placed on the right side of our caps before the ceremony, and after shaking the hands of the school director and the principal and receiving the certificate we were asked to place our tassel on the left side of our cap. I liked that part because it made me feel important. I remember doing graduation rehearsals onstage during our AP time everyday for two weeks. During my graduation, there were only a few speeches made by the school director, the principal, and the valedictorian. Only the members of the glee club performed a song. To cap the event, everyone sang the school’s alma mater. There were around 250 of us so by the time everyone’s name was called to receive their certificates, many of us couldn’t wait to have lunch. Traditionally, families go out to celebrate graduation by having lunch together with extended family members like grandparents, aunts uncles, and cousins.
What I remember with fondness is that every time a friend of ours is called to accept his or her certificate on stage, we would wildly cheer and applaud for them, deliberately breaking the rules of proper applause told to us during rehearsals. We were graduating and we couldn’t care less of school rules. Teachers gave us dagger looks and the principal had to remind everyone to behave themselves. When it was my turn to be called on stage, I was given a thunderous applause and it seemed like it went on for a long time. My brother told me during lunch that he was so proud to hear people cheering for me. He never thought I’d be so popular as I am normally quiet and unassuming at home.