Oops, I Missed a Week or So...

M got a new pair of eyeglasses the day before graduation. The red frames stand out a little but she likes them enough to wear them even at graduation so I don't have to worry that she'll try to get by at school squinting at the blackboard. The graduation itself was pretty much the same as J's ceremony last year. The kids were all nervous about maintaining formality that they all walked stiffly, without moving their arms when the fifth graders played Pomp and Circumstance for the grand exit.

A few seconds after the final student left the gym, the vice principal asked us to remain in our seats as a boy who had been ill and in the hospital for most of the past year had managed to come to school that day after all and they felt he should receive his diploma from the principal like the rest of his classmates. It took about five minutes to get all the sixth graders back to their seats as one class had actually made it all the way back to their third floor class room. The kids all seemed a little excited by the unexpected and unrehearsed portion of the event.

When everyone was assembled again, the principal had the boy's teacher call the boy's name and the boy climbed the steps to formally receive his diploma. The fifth graders weren't sure whether Pomp and Circumstance would be necessary again but the principal signalled to the music teacher that she should play something on the piano, much to their relief. She broke into the Alma Mater and the fifth and sixth graders all jumped right in spontaneously, singing the lyrics while the relaxed and smiling sixth graders casually jogged back out of the gym again with their classmate. Not a dry eye in the gym...

We had to hang around for the final class photo and then form two lines outside for the new graduates to walk through and receive flowers. M's teacher, Mr. Ono, was N's first and second grade teacher and this is his first year to have a sixth grade class. Halfway down the recessional line some of the teachers grabbed him and tossed him up in the air like a baseball star to celebrate his first class to graduate. After congratulating and being congratulated we returned home for buckwheat noodles for lunch. S took my afternoon class so I could attend the post graduation bowling and curry rice party with M.