www.whyville.net Jul 14, 2013 Weekly Issue

Veteran Times Writer

Hats in the Air

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Palms sweaty, knees weak. You've just watched everyone go ahead of you in alphabetical order. You know exactly when it will be your turn, you know the order by heart. You've been with these same kids for thirteen years. It's getting near the end of the list, did they just call "W"? Wait, that means you're next. That's it! Finally, your name is called and you proceed to the stage . . .

You're back in Kindergarten. It's the first day, and you're learning all the other kids names for the first time. Learning your A B C's, nothing is complicated. You go outside and play on the jungle gym, and slide down the slide.

Now you're in grade 5. You've survived your first years of school, and you're growing older. You're not the oldest kids in the school, but you think you're so much more experienced than those below you. You think you're ready to take on the world as you climb up to tackle the monkey bars.

You crossed those monkey bars and now you're in grade 7. You are the big kids in the school. Everyone looks up to you, and you feel as though you're on top of the world as you look down at all the younger grades.

Now you're looking up. Welcome to high school. You're in grade 8 and back to being the youngest kids in the school. You feel small amongst all the big kids surrounding you. The next few years will be the most awkward years of your life, but by grade 11 everything will clear up. You'll make so many memories that will last you forever. Grade 11 will come to an end, and your final year of high school will start. Then you blink.

Grade 12 has come to an end already. All it was was a blur. Exams, coursework, grad transitions, scholarship forms, applying to schools . . . you got through it all. You have completed 13 years of schooling and your life is just beginning. You cross the stage.

The principal hands you your diploma and you are awarded your well-deserved scholarships. Beaming with excitement, you march off the stage and take your place amongst your other graduates.

The last of the class has now received their diplomas, and you're zoning out during the never-ending speech that follows. The speech is coming to an end and the line you've been waiting for is about to be spoken . . .

"Ladies and gentlemen . . . I present to you the graduating class of 2013"

You rise up in sync with the classmates around you. You take a look at all the faces you've become so familiar with over all these years. All the memories come flooding back and you realize how far you've come.

It's your moment, and you've worked hard for it.

You throw your hat into the air.



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