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Here’s to the Class of 2014

May is the month that finds many flowers opening to display the best they have to offer. In a way that’s what the schools in our communities are doing. They’re displaying the best they have to offer – their graduating classes.

Graduation day is one of the few days that will stay with us the rest of our lives. The memory of that special day will always spark a warmth and that magical year, the year displayed on your class ring, will forever be a special year.

It’s hard to sit through a graduation ceremony without thinking back to the time when you strolled down the aisle to receive your diploma and shake hands with all the dignitaries.

Graduation day was the day you set your sights on way back when you first learned there was an end to all the schooling you had been working through since kindergarten.

There were times when that day seemed like it would never arrive. Until you became a sophomore, graduation day appeared to be a million years away.

Then, as a junior, you got your first big reminder of that magical year when you ordered your graduation ring. It had printed, right on the very top, “Class of 2014.”

You made it through your junior year and even learned a few new things. You also improved on your ability to glide though your homework more efficiently.

Then, at last, you started your senior year. It was still 2013, but new things kept coming up, like working on the high school annual and making an appointment to have your graduation photos taken.

It took awhile for you to figure out that the student who had the choice parking spot last year had graduated and you, as a member of the top class in school, now had the right to take it.

It hardly seemed possible, but the next thing you knew it was Christmas vacation time. This by itself was not special because you had already weathered 12 of them in your school career, but then it hit you – this is the last one you’ll have as a high school student.

As you returned from that Christmas break, things had really began to change. It was here! That magical year you’d been thinking about for the past three or more years: 2014.

Things were especially good after that. You, being the most experienced veteran walking the school hallways, knew all the ropes.

Prom time was a little more special this year because you were on the receiving end and someone else was doing all the work. All at once it hits you – this is just one of several things that you just took for granted, but will never do again.

The prom was soon just memories and you reached the point where you could begin counting your remaining high school days on your fingers.

Graduation day is part of growing up and is a very special day, but right about this time is when you began to wonder if you really want to go through with it. You realize that the friends you have shared your life with for the past 13 years will now slowly drift away.

But graduation day will stay with you for a long, long time. I can tell you that from experience. It’s been more than a half century since I received my diploma and it still seems like yesterday every time I attend a graduation ceremony.

(Ed Rood is the former publisher of Tri-County Times. He and his wife, Sharon, live near Cambridge.)

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