My little brother is 11. He will be turning 12 this July and he just graduated from 6th grade. From here he will be going to junior high and a new school. His transition through school will be backwards from mine. Where I spend elementary school in a Catholic school and then went to public school for the rest, he will now be entering a Catholic school here from his many years in public school. And I have to say that it was about time. If his education can be indicated by the way his graduation was handled, well… let’s just say I have no real faith in the public school system.
I have been to many graduations. I played in the band and we had to play in many of them. This would have to be the most disorganized event I have ever had to suffer the entirety of. First it was to begin at 8AM, so of course I had to be awoken at an early hour on a weekend. We were there just before 7 because my mother wished to take a picture of the school when it was still empty. And as luck would have it, I hadn’t been out of the car any more than 5 minutes when my show broke.
Luckily, they were my mother’s sandals. I had forgotten my prettier shoes in Mayaguez and had to borrow the only pair that fit me. Also, as luck would have it, my mother had a pair of flipflops in her car.
So I proceeded to just prance around in those.
It wasn’t my day, no one should care what was on my feet.
I should have just worn my own flipflops instead of borrowing shoes.
The kiddies did their procession and looked very cute. They did an opening number where they did all these cute hand gestures. OF course, my dear brother seems always to be a bit lost and confused. In fact, his gestures had a 2 second delay when doing them. He was in the second row and my mother proudly pointed out how her baby was faking it. We kept giggling about it.
Then came all the anthems. I didn’t know there was going to be so many. There was the American anthem, the PR, the one for Yauco and one even for the school. After the kiddies got back on stage and sang the song for their graduation, my aunt asked if each group was going to have their own anthem. It was all that was missing. Right before the children sang their graduation song, my mother tried to get a program from one of the mother’s who had a basket full of them. The skanky beeyotch proceeded to ignore my mother’s request and speak and hand out programs to her clique-y friends who were sitting right behind us. My mother of course insisted and got the program along with dirty looks. This was how I learned that the school was riddled with all those cliquey skanks and made everything highly politicized. Can you believe that? For a sixth grade graduation?!
There was the preliminary greetings by everyone and their momma from the school and the educational district people. Then there was a recorder recital which was something about ‘pickets’ but I kept hearing the title being pickles. When I pointed out that the dancing ones were next, my mother misheard and thought there were going to be dancing ‘worms’. This sent us into another fit of giggles.
Then we had an hour of what felt like a round of self-congratulating amongst the administration. Again everyone and their momma got on stage and gave a longer speech about themselves and the school, and the principal even went so far as to reprimand the kiddies when they applauded and whistled for the president of their graduating class. There was even a moment when the principal was offering keepsakes to the people who were speaking and you could tell on the teachers’ faces that they hadn’t gotten anything for the person she was offering it to.
The principal was just a rude lady in general. She hogged the microphone, told a teacher to cut her speech short and she yanked the microphone out of several people’s hands. Afterwards there was another hour and something where they gave out medals for all the different subjects. Usually they reserve another event for this, instead they made us suffer through it during the actual graduation. My mother said that this was how one felt when one had an ordinary child. I could see what she meant, all my graduations had me going up and down receiving all sorts of medals and recognitions. My younger brother was no where close to getting any of them.
He actually looked very bored throughout it.
Then in true bass ackwards fashion, they let the kids change the dangly thingies on their caps and throw them up in the air. What ensued was about 10 minutes of mayhem as the kiddies scrambled to get their hats back and settled in again because they still had to do the alphabetical procession to get their diplomas. And here, finally, luck was in our favor. My little brother’s last name begins with an A. The one good thing his father gave him and was therefore the first person to get his diploma. My mother and I took advantage of the situation and took lots and lots of pictures.
But we couldn’t escape from the graduation right after. We had to wait to get his shirt and the tickets to his dance. Then finally we drove off to the celebration lunch. My bro decided that Longhorn was his choice for the meal. It was wonderful, sharing it with all the family.
After the wonderful meal we went to the mall and Borders, as per the graduate’s wishes. We wandered around and looked at everything, with no real reason to be there except to look. When we were done, we made our way to the Walgreens in Yauco where my older brother had sent pictures of the baby to be developed for my mother to have. As we were leaving, her car wouldn’t start. We popped the hood and just seemed to wait around for my grandfather and aunt to come and get us and check out what was wrong. Lots of guys stopped by to see if they could help. It was the last one who did who happened to have a toolbox and knew about cars. He helped disconnect the battery, cut one the wires and reattached something or other. It was his father’s birthday and he stayed around with us anyway to be sure we were alright and had everything handled.
I should have taken a picture of him. But, his name is Raph and he was very sweet. It turns out that he goes to my university and is in my faculty. However, he doesn’t like what he’s studying and wants to leave. My mother accused me of flirting with him. I said I was just being nice. We had to make small talk while they went to buy the new battery. It’s not my fault. All the same, my mother said that that was the sort of guy I should date. One who was handy with cars and tools and was nice enough to help ladies in distress.