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Amparo Bertram

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08:38 pm: If you want to see grown men cry...
Today was graduation. I wore a dress for the occasion, which is unusual for me during the winter, but I don't have a proper black suit.

As I walked down the stairwell to the gym where the ceremony would be held, the seniors were all lined up waiting to make their grand entry. They were ordered to hold their hands out so the teachers could check (to make sure they weren't wearing rings, I suppose).

When I arrived in the gym, one of the other teachers came over to chat.

Teacher: Do you exercise?

Me: ...? <and here I thought the dress was slimming> Um...well, I ride my bike...

It turns out that my predecessor went to the town gym every day to work out, and this particular teacher goes there also. (I guess being in the gym reminded her.) She wanted to let me know that if I wanted to sign up at the town gym, I could mention her name and they would waive the introductory membership fee.

The graduation ceremony, as is typical, was a very solemn affair with about five speeches and lots of bowing. There was one segment where the teachers and seniors had to bow individually to 32 different special guests, such as members of the Board of Education, principals of other schools in town, the manager of the train station, you name it. (The person reading off their introductions was going hoarse at the end.) By the time the seniors paraded out, half of them, and a fair number of the teachers (men included), were in tears.

For the rest of the afternoon, seniors kept popping into the faculty room to have their pictures taken with favorite teachers.

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[User Picture]
From:megory
Date:March 2nd, 2005 06:08 pm (UTC)

Very moving

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I am trying to picture all the bowing. It must be so amazing. I wish them all well as they move on. Sometimes I think we cry because we have an idea of the kinds of experiences that are in store. Thanks for sharing. It's a beautiful reflection and a moment to remember what this job is all about.
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