I went to Prospect, CT this evening for their annual DARE graduation. I can’t tell you how long I’ve been doing this, but I seriously expected a parent of one of these kids to tell me I was at his/her graduation too! Some things have changed. Some have remained the same.
Bob Chatfield is still the mayor. He was there when I first came. He’s the longest serving elected official in Connecticut.
The ceremony still takes place at Community School. Parts of it were built in the mid 30s. Not much change there.
I don’t know why but the girls seldom look me in the eye as I hand them their awards. They stare at the floor. Some of the boys look up–not all.
I used to shake hands with all the grads. Tonight it was fist bumps. I’m not sure if that’s flu related, but I’ll just choose to blame Howie Mandel.
When I began the school was all white. It is now a mini United Nations. Yes, the majority are still white, but there are now lots of other shades. Families moving up have moved in to Prospect.
Originally parents came with their video recorders. A few years ago the video was gone and there were lots of digital cameras. Now it’s digicams and cellphones.
The slide projector has been replaced with a PowerPoint slideshow.
As an ‘honored guest’ I’m asked to say a few words. Tonight I asked how many of the kids wished they were adults, able to control their own lives. Lots of hands.
I then asked the parents if they wanted to be kids? More hands.
Somewhere between childhood and adulthood there’s a disconnect! The parents understand too well.
Every year I get older. Fifth graders stay the same. That seems unfair.