Even though we only have a few kids in each class, we take as much time over their graduation as a bigger school. Every single one of our graduates do a speech to reflect on whom they would like to thank on this special day. They also have to walk down a line of teachers to receive hugs, congratulations, and a feather yarn lei (which the teachers make), get their diplomas, a small gift, then face that big crowd. It's nice. I cried buckets over our first class, but I had taught them since they were 6th graders; I am proud to say I only shed a couple of tears this year. It's pretty darn embarrassing to cry buckets in front of 500 people. Even though we only have a few kids, they have big extended families!
This year we had the graduation at the Civic, which is also the basketball stadium. I have to say we had enough help taking down the stage and the greenery (recycling to use on Wednesdays 8th grade graduation), but everyone dug out before we had to mop the floor. There were two of us, dust mopping to get rid of flower petals from the leis - we thought we were done when the county workers pulled out the wet mops. Although he grumbled a little in a nice way, he let us off most of the gym floor, but it took us a long time to mop the foyer where we served the cake. His exact words, "You folks never know what for do - you supposed to mop from that door to this. Where you having graduation next yea?" I told him we liked it here better than Aunty Sally's, but we'd get more help! I have to say after we mopped that whole foyer (big as my house) thoroughly, he was in a better mood.
After mopping (in my good clothes and shoes!), we went to Ken's Pancake House. If you are ever in Hilo, you need to eat there. When someone orders a giant ("Sumo") saimin, they ring a bell and the whole establishment yells, "Sumo!" It feels like the places that we used to go when we were small - it still has that old time Hawaii feel. I had crab cakes benedict. I should have ordered the half-order - I am still stuffed.
We took my son and one of our students who helped to pack up and unload the stuff from the truck (lattice, monstera leaves, flags, banners, chairs). My son is used to it, he just turns off his ears - but our student got an earful. Now he knows conclusively that the teachers talk about the students, just like the students talk about the teachers (except without the profanity). Things like, "Whose idea was it to spend all of Monday in advisories? That one girl should just stay home - 8 hours in a room with her will kill me!" We even talk about kids who graduated years ago - the joys of a small town and FB.
Well, today is grading day. My report cards are due tomorrow, which is rough, considering that there are three more days of school left. Tomorrow is registration and advisory time - I am going to make them help me clean my room. Tuesday is a beach day. Wednesday is a park day for the entire K-12 school. We're having the 8th grade graduation and a family talent show. It should be fun.
I also have been told conclusively that my kids are starving and that I need to make bread, cookies, and microwavable food to fortify them for the week ahead. The fact that my kids range from 11-18 and that their father is home doesn't seem to have any bearing on the fact that it is I who need to make all these things. I think I need to do some re-training around here.