Thursday, May 26, 2011

Congratulations Graduates!

Develop a passion for learning. If you do, you will never cease to grow.

It's graduation season. :) From kindergarten to college, students of all ages are wrapping up another year of learning and growing. Education is kind of a big deal in our house, and we were very pleased to attend Red Bud Elementary School's Junior High graduation ceremony last night. My baby brother Justin is now high school bound. Oh wait, he's not the baby anymore. Sorry, Justin. My "little" brother is high school bound. :)

 Hehe. We're a family of short people, what can I say?

The small gym of RBES was packed with bodies waiting to see these young men and women transition to a new stage of young adulthood. There was a lot of talk about new freedoms and responsibilities these young people will have as they will soon make their way (all the way down the street) to high school. It was sweet, and true, and none of them will even have the slightest clue what everyone is trying to tell them until they get there and experience it for themselves, haha. Sometimes learning has nothing to do with books.

Just a few days ago I wrote about the wonderful experience of growing up in a small town, and watching a class graduate together is the perfect example of the special experience small town living offers to it's people. Most of these kids have been toting backpacks, sitting in desks, and playing on the playground with each other since kindergarten. They've watched each other grow and change...they have stories to tell and memories tucked away...and it's a little bit sad to think that the end of a very sweet era is now over for them. As they move onto high school they will make new friends, which is never a bad thing, but it won't be the same for them ever again. The comfort and security of the familiar has quietly come to a close. Once again, it's time for them to grow by leaps and bounds, and they have to learn some life lessons all on their own.

The RBES 8th grade Chorus students sang "Time of Your Life" by Green Day. :) Justin was dreading this part of the night, haha. He HATES being in front of people, and he is probably the most shy person I know. All I have to say is, at least you weren't singing by yourself, little brother! I recall my eighth grade graduation and having to stand up to sing the Star Spangled Banner at the start of the ceremony. I hated every single stinkin patriotic minute of it, but I can't say no when someone asks me something. :)

I tried as hard as I could to get some good shots of all of Justin's classmates, but the gym was ridiculously dark. I don't know if any single person, no matter what camera they were using, was able to get good pictures in the poopy lighting. But I managed to snap a few photos of some lovely ladies that are friends of ours while they were busy belting out their punk rock tune. :) Darian and Courtney are especially close to our family, because we go to church with them, and at one point or another my mom babysat both of them. It's hard to believe that these beautiful young women used to sit on the floor in our living room watching Dragon Tales. :)

Justin, I know you were dreading it, but you did a great job little bro.

Of course, receiving diplomas is the reason most people show up to these things, haha. Justin walked across the stage and didn't even trip or nothin.

The 2011 class of Red Bud Elementary School!

Major side note:
I would like to take a moment now to point out the 1999 1st place volleyball state championship banner in the background. That would be my class. :) Not that I had a thing to do with that, haha. But I was there to cheer my classmates on! When I went away to college, I once overheard a group of girls I didn't know very well talking about small town volleyball teams. When I heard "Red Bud" my ears perked up. "They are SO GOOD," one of the girls said. "That's because they start training to play in like the first grade," said another. I smiled. Well...we did start doing volleyball drills in 1st grade PE class. So maybe they were right. :) Okay, back to the good stuff.

Darian had the privilege of giving the class farewell speech. She did a great job! 

Aw, this is the last time my little brother would walk out of his school gym as a student there....

We met up with lots of family afterwards at my parent's house for some ice cream cake. Yummo! Eric was super excited, because his weight loss competition at work had ended just that morning, so he could indulge in his absolute favorite snack. I seriously think Eric could eat an entire DQ ice cream cake by himself!

So proud of you, Justin!

Despite the fact that tornadoes were whirling around our area just hours before graduation, we had a really great evening. (We kept waiting for a phone call that the ceremony was going to be rescheduled, but it never came. Everything worked out in the end!)

If I have one piece of advice for Justin and his friends, it would be summed up in the words of Aristotle. "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." This will become even more true for you guys in high school, and even beyond. The world is FULL of ideas and different points of view. There is absolutely nothing wrong with learning about what others believe, but it's equally important for you to share your point of view with others. Take things with a grain of salt. Discuss ideas rationally, and "...sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence..." (1 Pet. 3:15).

Good luck class of 2011!


Sarah said...

No worries Eric, I could eat a whole ice cream cake too :)

We have THREE graduations in TWO days, ay ay ay. I have a feeling I'm going to cry a lot lol.

Congratulations Justin :):)

Cassie said...

How many more sibilings do you have? I always thought you just had Roger....hmmm.

Yeah drooled at the ice cream cake. lol. One time me and two other friends bought a cake in high school, cut it in thirds, and inhaled it. amazing! lol.

Congrats!! Glad the storms didn't cancel it!!

Adrien said...

Three graduations?? Good luck!! Haha. :)

I have four siblings! Roger (20), Shannon (15) Justin (13) and now John (3). We're quite a brood! :)

Jackie said...

Your pictures are awesome! I sent you a facebook message because I couldn't get blogger post to work at work. What kind of camera do you have? We are looking at some now because my good one shot craps!

Adrien said...

Hey, Jackie! Check out the "Photo FAQ's" tab up at the top, and it should help you out! P.S...I didn't know you had a blog. I do now! :)

Jackie said...

duh...should have looked alittle closer!...Yes but I am not that good! O well!

Mirella said...

Wow beautiful pictures and congratulations with your brother.

Big hugs from the Netherlands

Christine Pettijohn said...

Wonderful advice Adrien!! Congrats to your little brother.

Stephanie said...

Yay for your little bro and the shout out to the volleyball team! I scored the last points and will never forget those days. I point that banner out to my students all of the time. :)


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