We spent the biggest share of the weekend in Georgia celebrating the Class of 2013. Well...mostly one particular member of the Class of 2013 but we're happy for all of those closing one chapter in their lives and embarking on new and exciting things. It was fun to be part of this milestone and to make more wonderful family memories.
We snapped our share of family group shots with the about-to-be graduate before the ceremony.
And some pictures of snapshots in the making too. Fortunately for us, the primary subject is always willing to pose. Her smile never dims even if in this case she wasn't fond of the gown and the cap was even lower on her "like" list.
Then it was off to the Civic Center for the ceremony, the third of the day in a back-to-back-to-back-to-back marathon of diploma dispensing. Every public high school in the city held their graduation on either Friday or Saturday. I'll give them this, though, it was well-choreographed; we came in one door, took our seats and saw the ceremony, then exited by another as the process was repeated for the next school.
The days of the stop-pause march into the auditorium seem to be over as Kayla's class streamed in from the two entrances onto the main floor, met up in pairs, and proceeded down the center aisle to take their seats. It was orderly and quiet but then the graduates had been threatened that their diplomas would be held and they'd have to perform community service if there was any raucous display for them in the stands. The school is pretty regimented anyway but I'm sure the need to get in, get done and get out played a role too.
Here's our girl receiving her diploma. Well, the folder it will eventually go in really as the actual diploma comes in the mail later. She was so nervous about walking up and down the series of steps to get to this stage, convinced she would be the one to trip and embarass herself after the teachers said someone always did. The Class of 2013 must have been the exception; I don't think I saw any stumbling on the stairs.
And here they are...the Class of 2013 as they moved their tassels from one side to the other. In unison. All 306 of them, slightly more girls than guys. There was a woman seated at the front of the auditorium who cued them so they sat, stood and did the tassel all at the same time. It was kind of cool actually. They were arranged by height so Kayla's near the front being the petite thing that she is. She's in the fourth row, fifth from the top if you're trying to spot her but given how high up we were, that's a little tricky to do in this shot. Needless to say, cheering was permitted at this point.
There was, of course, another round of picture-taking after the ceremony. Mom and Dad look pretty proud of the new graduate, don't they, and well they should. I think they were a little apprehensive when Kayla selected this magnet school as it has quite the reputation for being tough but she took to the challenge. It will serve her well in the college years ahead.
One final photo...our pretty new graduate showing off the necklace her dad bought for her. And the pretty white dress she wore under the gown. Another school requirement since any other color choice would show through the white gowns. If she looks a little hot at this point, she was. We all were as the late afternoon sun beamed down on us.
And for the great-grandfathers and other family members who couldn't attend the graduation, here's a short video of Kayla walking across the stage. It's not stellar but given how high up we were and the fact that it's taken with our little point-and-shoot camera, it's not bad. You'll have the experience anyway.
There's a new job to start later in the week, college orientation in a few weeks and a summer full of memories to make before Kayla will pick up the books again and try to find her away around a new campus. We couldn't be more proud of her and all that she has accomplished.