|THE ALWAYS STAID AND UNEXPRESSIVE SLUSHEE.|
Slushee was instructed that attire was smart casual. She told us there was no telling what others would wear. She was right. Audience dress ranged from smart casual to beachwear. The headmaster looked more like a rock star than a, reportedly, good and very strict head master. The deputy head master was in shredded designer jeans, a T-shirt, and blazer.
|"SO, SO WHAT? I'M STILL A ROCKSTAR!"|
THE HEAD MASTER.
A zaftig woman gave the opening words for the event. She went beyond smart casual, wearing a skin tight, off-one-shoulder, clingy "night on the town" dress and yellow glittery spiked heels that were clearly intended to be worn for about 3 minutes tops. It was quite a balancing act.
|CITRINE (NOT RUBY) SLIPPERS.|
SHE CLICKED THESE HEELS THREE TIMES AND ... FELL OVER.
Before things started, we sat in the hot, setting sun while tables and chairs were arranged on the stage. Music blasted through large speakers. The first song: Madonna's "Material Girl."
I laughed and leaned over to Darren. "Sixth-grade graduation, huh? What's next? 'Like a Virgin?' "
I thought most of the kids would have no idea what the song was about. But then I thought: a) "Virgin" in Spanish is "virgen" — they could probably figure it out; b) the graduates have been studying English for years (and some, like Antony, speak both languages fluently); and c) I have a feeling most 6th-graders nowadays know what a virgin is.
|SPEAKING OF VIRGINS, SHEIKH GERALDO, HIDING FROM THE HOT SUN.|
|SLUSHEE NOTICES SHEIKH GERALDO...|
|AND SHE REACTS.|
There were four classes for a total of 120+ graduates. Each class was called up to receive their diplomas. They'd pose for a class photo and there would then be a musical "interlude" — one or two students from that specific class would play their specialty musical instruments.
|DAPPER DARREN. "SHINEY AND NEW."|
At first, there was an audio problem. The administrator in charge of events, very bossy and apparently very efficient and respected (and feared), turned to the audience and said, "Mierda técnico."
I turned to Slushee in surprise. She was laughing (again) and said, "Yes. She did just say, 'Technical shit.'" The microphone wasn't on at the time (due to the technical shit), but we were quite far away and still heard her clearly.
|HAVING RESOLVED THE MIERDA TÉCNICO.|
The music and instruments were not readied in advance. So, there was always a bit of a mad scramble to dig out the correct instrument case from the pile on the stage. Later, there was the problem of the music blowing off the music stand. San Geraldo's cyclonic winds had kicked up. Who could have foreseen that happening? At times, it looked a bit like The Keystone Kops.
|ANTONY, THE CAPED CRUSADER.|
The four teachers had chosen students from each of their classes to share, briefly, their feelings about their primary school (colegio) and moving on to the instituto (high school). Antony was one of two students in his class given that honor. He was great. Unruffled. Smiling. And succinct!
|THE GREAT ORATOR.|
The big finale was 40 students on flutophones performing the theme to "Game Of Thrones." They were surprisingly good. However, we were grateful to Slushee for telling us about that in advance, neither of us having any idea what the "Game of Thrones" theme song sounds like. Even worse, after Slushee told us about the song, San Geraldo turned to me and said, "What's the game of thrones?" I'm 'so totally cool' in comparison.
|THE PROUD FAMILY... SLUSHEE STUBBED HER TOE AT HOME.|
(IT LOOKED BROKEN TO ME). STILL SMILING.
So, we have now attended our first primary school graduation ceremony ever... "Somehow [we] made it through."
This is a No Madonna Louise Ciccone Zone...