Skies Clear for Class of 2022 WHS Graduation
At around 6:30 pm on June 3, 2022, the Class of 2022 became the newest alumni of Weston High School. According to Principal Peri, one member of the class (unidentified) was the 10,000th to graduate from Weston High School since its current building was opened in 1962. I have no backup for this because it seems mathy. It wasn’t the only mathy thing of the day. Let’s go back in time a bit, shall we? Yes.
At 4 pm, the first glimpses of blue sky appeared through the clouds as the Owl drove to the high school for “bag check.” If you didn’t know this, the freshman parents (and they happened to be all moms) check the seniors’ overnight bags for puppies and alka seltzer. Or something like that. Only one nip was found. It was pink. Who drinks pink nips? Anyway, no one needs to know who did. Sophomore parents were responsible for creating lovely wearable flower arrangements and pinning them to kids and I will totally skip this volunteer duty next year. Sharp objects, white dresses and jackets, bad eyesight. Nope. The junior parents were over on the town green setting up the food at the reception so not sure what was going on over there but it all looked awesome when I saw it later.
After milling about in the cafeteria for a while, the kids (can I still call them that? Last time for them, I promise) loaded up in alphabetical order for how they would march from Town Hall, down around the green and finally to the staircase which was like a ski chute surrounded by cheering fans. Oh wait I skipped ahead, and so I should or this will take all day.
The ceremony started on time at 5:30 pm and the graduates sat in distanced chairs on the Green. I admit I question this spacing as they had all just been on a bus together, in a cafeteria together, and would shortly be hanging around the surprise location together. Made me a bit sad. But whatever, not my call. There is nothing as lovely as the dressed-up kids surrounded by folding chairs, picnic blankets and standing underclassmen on the hillside. And musical accompaniment of our high school band.
After the national anthem and a short intro by Principal Peri, the class president Nyle Linnard spoke of the challenges that the class had faced, the most obvious of which was the pandemic. Of all the low spots of that, Nyle pointed out that the biggest challenge was “staying away from each other”–the isolation of not being able to be with friends and colleagues. But the silver lining, he said, was understanding the value of things when they are taken away. Nyle then quoted from the movie Good Will Hunting: “You’ll have bad times, but it’ll always wake you up to the good stuff you weren’t paying attention to” such as being able to attend school or just hanging around with friends.
The next speaker was Jenna Hashem, the vice president of the senior class. She spoke about infinity and time–and in the middle of her speech, the Paul Revere bell at First Parish Church began to toll the six o’clock hour. It was perfect. Jenna talked about how many days it had been since the last “normal” graduation on the Town Green. And about how time seems to be infinite but it’s not and has a definition. And things got mathy, and this Owl got a laugh when Jenna said that “some infinites are bigger than others” and a kid nearby let out a confused “whaaaat???” I do agree, actually, that some infinites are bigger than others–think about it.
Principal Paul Peri summed up some of the words of student speakers over the last few days. And ended his short speech by saying he has confidence that best is yet to come for all the graduates. And before handing over the name reading to School Committe members Attia Linnard and Alyson Muzila, said “May you forever be a Wildcat” to the graduates. Indeed, I could not say it better.
Names were read, diplomas handed over, cheers and laughter broke out. So did the clouds but that didn’t matter. Dr. Connolly released the ‘cats into the wide wide world, and apparently the Owlets are now considered sophomores. Some infinites are bigger than others…