Saturday, June 23, 2012

elyse's graduation

Not even a week after my cousin graduated from high school, Darren and I found ourselves at another commencement ceremony- this time for his niece, Elyse!

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But before we get to Elyse, let me introduce you to Stephanie.

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Stephanie is the AP English teacher at Lee High School, Huntsville Schools' Teacher of the Year, senior class sponsor, swim coach, and National Honor Society sponsor, and the faculty member chosen to read off the names of the graduates during this year's commencement exercises.

She also just happens to be Elyse's mom.

You have no idea what a hard time we gave her about the possibility of her crying right in the middle of graduation! :)

Traditionally graduations start with the playing of Pomp and Circumstance as the seniors file in. There's sometimes a prelude before that, though that prelude is not usually the theme to Pirates of the Caribbean. Very cool!

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First the faculty filed on stage...

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...and then the students came in. I have no idea how Elyse walked around in those shoes, but she did it well!

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But our girl wasn't sitting down with the rest of her class just yet!

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You see, Elyse actually also graduated from her school's vocal magnet, and she and the rest of the choir sang both before and after commencement.

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The requisite speeches.

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And the valedictorian's speech. Which more or less consisted of "I would have asked my teachers to help me with my speech, but I'm so much smarter than all of them."

I kid you not!

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This is what I call Stephanie's "Professor McGonagall impression."

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Seriously, does she not look like she could be teaching at Hogwarts at this very moment?

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I was actually really surprised at the amount of noise at this graduation. I'm very used to the whole "hold your applause until all graduates have received their diplomas" line, but there was no such thing at this commencement. Elyse graduation fairly early in the lineup, so the noise wasn't so loud that we couldn't hear her name, but by the end you couldn't hear anything at all over the crowd.

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Aaaaand Steph didn't cry. Good thing I didn't take that bet. ;)

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By the time Elyse's boyfriend, Zack, walked across the stage, the noise was so loud that I totally missed his name and only got the back of his head before he exited. I did get a shot of him over in the professional photographer's area, though.

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One last song at Lee.

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And then hats in the air!!

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And out they went.

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Later on both Darren's and Zack's families met up for dinner to celebrate.

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Mmmmm, sushi!!

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Zack ordered the nigiri plate, and I think that both he and Elyse were shocked at the baby octopus sushi that arrived as part of the mix.

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Seriously, a whole baby octopus! And would you believe that Darren has actually eaten one of these before?!?!?

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Nobody ate this one, but at least they had some fun with it first!

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And then right at sunset I took Elyse and Zack's graduation photos (it was way too bright to take them right after commencement). They had to turn their robes back in to the school, but at least they still had their caps and diplomas (and Elyse had changed into more comfy shoes).

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And that was the end of graduation season around here! Next year I think we only have one to attend- which to me means fewer photos to edit. Ha!