Graduation – Hope In All the Right Faces

And since we are on the subject of education…I recently attended the college graduation of a friend. She is what is commonly known as a “mature” student. She is many years out of high school, three kids and a world of living later. She has been in school almost as long as I have known her; about five years. Raising her kids and doing homework. Wow, do I have respect for that. I have accomplished a lot but I don’t think I could have accomplished that. But I digress, as usual. We raced over to the campus stadium, about an hour from home, at the crack of dawn and found our seats (her parents got there before the crack of dawn and saved them for us!). As the hundreds of graduates began to file in and take their seats I found myself truly moved, looking on as I was from my “mature” vantage point. I looked into the sea of faces, mostly young and untried, and what came to me was that the hall was thick with hope. Many of the graduates had painted messages of thanks to their parents on their mortarboards, that was truly wonderful to see, that there are still kids who don’t believe they are “entitled” to everything and who have gratitude. What was astonishing was the number of graduates in the bachelor’s of education program. Teachers are so terrifically underpaid and under appreciated these days. It seems generally that they now have to pay for and beg parents for supplies for their classrooms that underfunded school districts are unable to provide. I have to assume lots of them know this. But there they were, faces shining, diplomas held high, hopeful to start their careers. These are not just the hopeful, they are the hope. In their hands are the future of our country, those who will make policy and care for us when we are old, those who will forge our place in the world, those who will teach the next to come.
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