Sunday, June 8, 2014

For The Very First Time

San Geraldo and I had the distinct privilege of attending Antony's 6th-grade graduation. He's Darren and Ann's (Slushee's) son. Antony attended a very good, if a bit unusual, local primary school. (Click any image.)

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?' "

It was!

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.
GIFTED!

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...

30 comments:

  1. I just attended my 3rd stepson's highschool grad. The first one is ok but after that, always the same, same program, same jokes. There were 255 kids graduating. It took 2.5 hours just to call their name and flip the yellow tassel from one side to another. My Motherinlaw who is experiencing a little dimentia, kept repeating "boy there sure are a lot of kids". We were all bored to tears and I was wishing they would have allowed cocktails at this ceremony. My Stepson was 6th from last....it was a long day. My Stepdaughter is the last to graduate, 2 more years. I need the two years :)

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    1. Cheapchick:
      For me, this was novel. And it lasted less than 1-1/2 hours. I couldn't have sat around for it much longer than that. And, boy there sure were a lot of kids.

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  2. I think you are not fully initiated until you have attended a graduation ceremony for 4K -- that means for kids who are 4 or 5 and getting ready to go INTO full kindergarten. I liked the way they did it in my kindergarten days (1955-1956) -- just a party and then our parents took us home early.

    Or was that high school graduation?

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    1. Michael:
      Our great-nephew and great-nieces have all "graduated" from pre-school; two of them now from kindergarten. Fortunately... I mean UN-fortunately... we live too far away to be able to attend.

      Delete
  3. Not quite the staid graduation, eh?

    Plus, I'm feeling a little Naughty Schoolboy and Head Master right about now.

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    1. Bob:
      In your fantasy, does the headmaster look like a rockstar? Or is that an entirely different fantasy?

      Delete
  4. Ooooh! That Amos Lee version of Like A Virgin is LOVELY!
    As for the graduation... whew... I don't know why it has become such a trend to do these ceremonies at every level. I think I'll start making a big ceremony for graduating from one semester to the next in every class :) or... from one grading period to the next... or... from one unit to the next... or... every Friday! :)

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    1. Judy:
      I'd go back to school if there were a graduation PARTY every Friday... but not a ceremony. Isn't that Amos Lee version exceptional? I don't like to give Madonna any more attention than she's already gotten from her biggest fan... herself!

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  5. I know these can be VERY TEDIOUS, Mitchell! I have attended plenty. But at least you had some added distraction/attraction that kept things 'interesting'.
    SG, I can only imagine the HEAT! Next time bring along a brimmed hat maybe.
    Looks like a very happy family!

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    1. Jim:
      San Geraldo has a hat, but he sweats under it. A dish towel is so much more elegant, don't you think? We had a great evening and are so glad we went (and so especially grateful to be invited).

      Delete
  6. Ah, graduations... it takes true friends to put themselves through that; you're BOTH saints. San Geraldo is the very picture of a dignified sheikh, and please tell Slushee she has the greatest smile in the history of ever, the kind of smile that makes you have to smile in return, even if it's just a photo.
    Hmmm, you could always invent chocolate covered wine gums.
    Thank you for Amos Lee's rendition of 'Like A Virgin', it's absolutely exquisite. =)

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    1. Jacqueline:
      I LOVE when Slushee smiles and laughs. She doesn't hold anything back. I agree that you just have to smile in return. As for San Geraldo: Dignified? If I knew how to say the curmudgeonly sheikh in Arabic, that would be his new name!

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  7. That's entertainment some of us would pay to see.... those shoes, of the lovely color and texture, look like something an orthopedic surgeon would sell to drum up more business. What a lovely family you're friends with... love her smile!

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    1. Sharon:
      Some women walk in those shoes so gracefully. Others, you're always aware of the shoes. She was one of those. Those are what you call "sittin' down shoes."

      Delete
  8. You two are really building a family there in Spain. I couldn't be happier for you.

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    1. Stephen:
      We were so honored when Ann and Darren told us they were allowed two guests and they chose us. They're a wonderful family. Antony is terrific. We had a great time (and always do with them) and are very grateful.

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  9. Slushee looks like a real bag of laughs

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    1. John:
      Slushee holds nothing back. I love when she laughs.

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  10. This time it's Slushee's dress that makes her a slushee. So colorful and pretty!

    My sixth grade graduation was nothing like this--no robes, no citrine slippers, no Madonna!

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    1. Michelle:
      She's gone rather subtle with her hair lately (mixture of honey, blonde, and pink the last I checked). Antony thinks she's due for some lime. San Geraldo and I can't remember having 6th grade graduations (although I do remember an assembly and some singing). Ninth-grade graduation was at the art deco Coney Island Theatre. We marched in to Pomp & Circumstance. Then we sang -- in harmony -- "Try to Remember the Kind of September" from "The Fantasticks." All I remember is being embarrassed during the echoing chorus (boys then girls then boys then girls...): "Follow follow follow follow follow follow follow..." Uff!

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  11. Love Amos Lee - was turned onto him by my niece's boyfriend........love the albums Supply & Demand and Mission Bell. Where is this from?

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    1. Carole:
      Amos Lee's "Like A Virgin" is apparently from a recent episode of "Gray's Anatomy." (I have no idea why.) What a rendition!

      Delete
  12. Ah, this time of year.......So many graduations. But so important (usually) for the graduates. What a nice family!

    Amos Lee is one of my favorite singers.

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    1. Kristi:
      Until this, I was unfamiliar with Amos Lee. What talent. I'm hooked.

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  13. It's very interesting and different from Poland.

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    1. Gosia:
      You could make a world tour to attend graduations. Professional development!

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  14. I'm afraid I got frozen at the photo of Dapper D; I forgot what the entry was!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Spo:
      Darren will be flattered. (And he cooks, too!) You might remember, he was a member of "Sandpiper's Thunder From Down Under photo (third "dancer" from right). http://mitchellismoving.blogspot.com.es/2014/05/bikers-and-party-girls.html

      Delete
  15. Scrolling through the photos I thought Sheik Geraldo bore a striking resemblance to Mother Theresa

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    1. HK:
      I immediately search images of Mother Teresa. It never dawned on my that she wore IKEA dish towels on her head!

      Delete

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