High school seniors in our county are finishing a very special part of their lives and beginning a new pursuit.
High school commencement marks the end of twelve years of aiming toward maturity and the beginning of life away from the protective arms of their classmates, teachers, and other school friends.
The graduation ceremony represents the hard work that all involved have done to get to this point in the lives of the seniors. Its very formality makes it an outstanding activity.
Marching to the tune of "Pomp and Circumstance" just naturally makes each senior stand taller and look a bit serious as reality hovers overhead. Wearing the formal regalia of caps and gowns also causes each individual to feel pride in self, in school, and in community.
At one time, this occasion demanded formal behavior to go along with the formal appearance of the graduates. The members of the audience showed respect for each other and for all that was going on by remaining quiet throughout most of the ceremony.
They seemed to listen attentively to the speakers and to applaud at appropriate times. The graduates reflected the manners they had learned from their family and teachers as they pretended to listen to the same speakers while thinking about the past and future. They tried to show that they were just as sophisticated as their elders and that they weren't the least bit afraid of what the future might hold.
Although I had the opportunity to receive several diplomas throughout my career, I was never as proud of any as I was of the one granted by Tucumcari High School. Of course, I was one of those who didn't even want to end those high school years because I so enjoyed them. I knew I was going on to college, but I really would have preferred to remain at home and continue attending those wonderful classes right here where I knew I was secure.
I remember marching into that auditorium and thinking that would be the last time I'd see so many of the people gathered there and the last time our class would all be together.
Trying to act semi-dignified while really wanting to cry was no easy task. The walk across the stage was almost more than courage would allow because the acceptance of that diploma represented a form of finality that frightened me.
Well, that night was 61 years ago and the feeling still exists. We can all hope that the graduating seniors will have good lives, will remember their beginnings, and will be outstanding citizens.
They will go from being seniors to being alumni in a matter of seconds, and we all wish them good fortune and much happiness throughout their lives.
Lynn Moncus is a Tucumcari resident and can be contacted through the Quay County Sun by calling 575-461-1952.