My wife and I will be very excited and proud this month when our granddaughter marches across the stage as a member of the Ponoka Composite High School graduating class of 2014. We have been so blessed to watch the same youthful pomp and pageantry with three members of our family in the past, and we hope and pray that we will be able to attend a few more in the future.
Graduation day will always be a glorious, glitzy, and colorful June occasion for hundreds of young students from our Ponoka and districts school systems, as well as throughout our province and our free and prosperous nation. They are supposed to be the best years of our young lives, and after spending 12 or more of these busy but fun September to June sessions in the classroom, on the playing fields, in the gym, or in and around your community with new class-mates and friends, your graduation will be the first day of the rest of what we hope will be a happy and prosperous future. Here is the Hammer’s special tribute and a little fun and best wishes to each and every one of our grads.
• Today you have all been set adrift with a diploma for a sail and lot of nerve for your oars, which will hopefully be driven on a mostly straight course by desire, hard rowing, and countless goals and lofty dreams along the way.
• A young graduate should quickly realize that among the necessities of life is living it to the fullest.
• Your families are extremely proud of you. You can’t imagine the sense of relief they are now experiencing, and this would likely be the most opportune time to ask for money.
• You cannot get to the top by sitting on your bottom.
• Always shoot for the moon, and even if you miss, you will land amongst the stars.
• Graduation Day is tough for adults. They go to the ceremony as parents, they come home as contemporaries, and after 18 years of child raising they are now unemployed.
• If opportunity doesn’t knock throughout your adventures in life, just go ahead and build another door.
• On this your special day please take a few precious moments to show your ongoing respect and appreciation for your parents, your teachers, and your friends. It was our parents who got us up each morning and sent us off to school with a healthy lunch, they somehow managed to provide their growing siblings with the same hip clothes that EVERYONE else was wearing, and they generated just enough amazing patience and tough love for all of us to survive our wild and woolly teenage years.
Our teachers, whether we liked them or not, accepted our mostly smiling but often mischievous faces each and every morning, put up with our bad habits, and somehow managed to get us through those tough subjects and assignments for 12 memorable years. Both at school and at home these amazing individuals helped us get through the toughest days, the best days, and all the way to summer holidays, when we all got a little space from each other.
You must never forget your school chums and team-mates, male or female, who stuck by us down those hallowed halls of learning through thick and thin, sharing the homework load, and always being there to join in on a celebration of success, or to dry a tear when a childhood sweetheart crush suddenly crumbled. Cherish their memories, and hopefully along the path of life we will continue to stay in touch, to become neighbours, or to meet again at those gala class reunions.
What to look forward to for your college years
• You will eventually consider macaroni, MacDonald’s, and all other take out or thaw-out quickie meals as real food.
• You will actually learn to like doing laundry at home, will long for mom’s home cooking, and will really appreciate an occasional visit from family, along with their life-saving monthly care-packages.
• You will find that two miles is not too far to walk to a party, and it won’t be very long before you start thinking and sounding like your room-mate.
• You will wear dirty socks and the same sweater three times in a row, and on some days you will find that you’d rather clean your room than study.
• You will schedule your classes around your sleep habits and soap operas.
• Computer solitaire is now more than just a game…..it’s a way of life; while black lights and highlighters will become the coolest thing on earth.
Please be very proud of what you have accomplished, go ahead and celebrate your successes with family, class-mates, and friends today, then grab every opportunity and strive to take it to the next exciting step into the bright future of tomorrow. In the meantime, get out and bask in the sunshine, and have a great week, all of you.