President Obama, standing, applauds as her daughter, Malia receives High School graduation Diploma at Sidwell Friends in Washington, D.C. [Roger Catlin/Washington Post]
It’s Spring and graduation time in colleges (universities) and high schools across the United States is in full gear.
I was struck with the importance, pomp and pageantry of high school graduations first in the 1970s when I had a part-time job in addition to my full-time go-fer secretarial job at the World Bank. I had just graduated from college in March 1975 and with a few months on my hand to return home to Nigeria – our two small kids had preceded us home – I took on a sales job at the [then] Wheaton Plaza – now a mall – Casual Corner. In Florida where we had first encountered American life, I had not been exposed to the aspect of high school graduation as a major milestone, a sort of rite of passage in American life.
By the second day of my job, I had realized that the stream of young ladies coming into the store to purchase gowns were preparing for high school graduation which included high school proms – gatherings to which the young ladies would wear formal dresses while the young men would wear formal men’s wears, generally tuxedos. The proms are usually attended with dates. For the proms, parents – and sometimes the kids from earnings through part-time work – spend a lot of money on clothes, parties, limousine rentals and other items. It’s the start of college or full-time work for many who may decide not to go to college by choice or because they cannot afford it; in short, it is the start of real adult lives when most will depart from under parental rule.
It is, indeed, a nice way for school mates to have an enjoyable time together. After all, there will be mates that would never see each other again after high school although with the Info Age, linking up is no longer what it used to be.
Google Images from High School Proms
This year, President Obama and the First Lady are like – almost – regular American parents as they attend Malia’s graduation at Friends, the upscale school in Washington where another daughter, Sasha, has a few more years to graduation.
SATURDAY, JUNE 11, 2016. 11:30 a.m. [GMT]