Editorial: Best of luck, Class of 2011
The familiar strains of "Pomp and Circumstance." The rows of young men and women, decked out in caps and gowns, marching down the center of the auditorium. The flash of cameras as proud parents and grandparents jockey for position, trying to preserve these moments for posterity.
Graduation season is upon us, with commencement exercises to be held this Saturday at the College of William and Mary for Gloucester High School and on the following Saturday at Mathews High School.
Graduation day is a special occasion—not only for the students themselves, who celebrate the conclusion of 13 years’ work; and not just for the parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles and other assorted kin who will join them in their celebration.
As Hillary Clinton famously wrote in her book, it takes a village to raise a child. While we may not feel as though we played a role in these students’ success, we have. As they head off to college, or prepare for a career, they will take with them the values they have developed from their family, teachers, coaches, friends, neighbors and the community at large.
While the "greater" society may revel in the reality-show morality of "Jersey Shore" and "Real Housewives," these graduates will have learned their life lessons a little closer to home. The basic attributes of looking out for one another, of fairness and kindness, of honesty and the value of hard work may not be fodder for the so-called reality shows, but they are every-day occurrences here in Gloucester and Mathews. And most of the students who will be stepping onto the stage this week and next to receive their diplomas have learned these lessons, just as they have learned their math and social studies skills.
But unlike math or social studies, there is no single end-of-course SOL for this subject. Instead, each of us takes the test every single day—and, in our more reflective moments, we grade our own results.
To the Class of 2011, best of luck in everything you do. And, to the rest of us, congratulations on the work you’ve done in guiding these young men and women to where they are today. "Pomp and Circumstance" is playing for you as well.