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Alice Yang
Yang is a contributing columnist for the Fort Bend Star.
She is a student at Stephen F. Austin High School-FBISD.

This column expresses the personal opinions/views of the writer. If you would like to express your opinions/views regarding the column, write a SIGNED letter to the editor. Name can be withheld by request with a valid day time phone number.
 

Dual graduation

 

I have to say, my own graduation wasnít that great. It was timed, there were 670 students, and it started to rain right when we got out of the building.

But I only say so because the day before, I went to Stafford High Schoolís graduation. And that night, is a night I will always remember.

I went to Stafford Elementary School so I knew most of the graduates. A week ago, my friend was on the phone in my car, and suddenly, she wanted me to speak on the cell.

To my great surprise, I heard the voice of my childhood friend on the other line. We havenít spoken in nearly seven years, and she immediately invited me to her graduation.

It was at a capacious church, and I got some VIP seats up front sitting with friends in Stafford yearbook. After a few speakers in the administration, the salutatorian, one of my best friends back in elementary, came up to the podium.

She was nervous, you could tell by the way her hands were shaking because they projected her onto three big screens. But her voice was firm as she outlined the years of high school memories for the crowd.

At one point, she looked down, and it was silent for a few seconds. Then, you could see her crying. And as I glanced at the graduating students, many of their eyes glistened in the dark.

After a roaring standing ovation, the valedictorian came up. He was in the middle of reading off of his speech, when out of nowhere, he tore the paper up! Then, you could see him struggling to keep his voice steady as his eyes got redder and redder.

The valedictorian, he was crying. That was when I cried too.

It may seem sort of silly, this kind of dramatic performance, but it is something only a Stafford student would understand. The class of 200 people, was the most diverse and tight-knit group Iíve ever seen. Everyone knows everyone else, and cliques are broken more often than formed.

As they showed the homemade video of memories, I saw my picture pop up from elementary. As my friend sang the graduation song, I was reminded of her beautiful voice back in the 3rd grade play. As the students, one by one, walked up there, I screamed myself hoarse, surprised and joyous to recognize my long lost peers.

Afterwards, we all filled in the courtyard for pictures. And one by one, I greeted and hugged my old friends, happy and sad to see their shocked faces stained with tears.

I spotted my best friend, from first grade, my first friend when I came to America, and it was like a movie. We ran towards each other, slow motion and all, hugged and cried together for the longest time. Her mom joined us, and with mascara running eyes, we exchanged numbers again.

High school, is not just about the studies. The clubs, the extracurricular, the labs, the volunteering, these are the technical stuff. The real thing, like in any phase of life, at work, at home, in college, is always about human connection.

Friendship.

And in the words of Vitamin C...

ďAs we go on, we remember

All the times we had together

And as our lives change, from whatever

We will still be, friends foreverĒ

Yang is a contributing columnist for the Fort Bend Star. She is a student in FBISD.

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   Last Update:  June 13, 2007