By JOHN M. DERBY
May 17, 2018
She was one of over a thousand who walked
across the stage last week to receive her Bachelor of Arts
Degree. The pride of seeing our granddaughter get her diploma
was bursting from this old man’s chest.
This was the girl who was only learning
to walk, what seems like last month. Then what seemed like
last week she was a track star in high school and now walking
across that stage to receive her diploma.
Where had all the time gone?
We have seen many graduations during that time. Her high
school graduation and the one in which her sister was graduated
from the same college. We have covered hundreds of graduations
through the years and they always seem to be so emotional.
Watching parents and family members see their children all
grown up, walk across that stage to receive their diplomas
never gets less dramatic or less important. These young
people have completed four years of college or four years
of high school. This meant a lot of hard work and sticking
to a goal.
As we watch we wonder where will all these graduates end
up? Are there enough jobs out there for them? Will their
degrees give them a jump start in the job market? Will they
be employed in the field in which they studied, or a job
which is totally different then they expected?
The words of the commencement address are inspirational.
They are meant to be, because they will have to last a long
time in the minds of students who will now go out into the
world of hard knocks. There is no clear road to success.
One only arrives at the end by making mistakes.
Hopefully those mistakes will not derail one’s life.
Once the graduation is over, the graduate is treated like
For us, it was as if she had climbed the ladder and she
was at the very top. There were kisses and hugs from everyone.
Pictures were taken with everyone.
It was as if everyone had graduated along side her. No matter
that in some cases, the graduate might be the first one
to ever graduate in his or her family.
One by one, all the graduates and all the families left
the stadium and there was nothing but the janitors picking
up the waste paper around the seats. There was silence where
only moments ago there had been bedlum.
We stayed until the last, getting all the flavor of the
event. We wanted to squeeze all the joy out of the memory
of what we had just seen.
Our granddaughter and all the other graduates, all grown
Ready to brave the all new world.