Last week I attended my first-ever graduation – of the Correlieu Secondary School grade 12s here in Quesnel. Back when I finished school in South Africa we never made much of a deal of our passing from high school; I really don’t relate. We did have a special “assembly” before our final exams but once we were done writing, that was it, we just never returned to school. All that remained was to wait for our results – which were published in the local newspaper. Sure we had a form of “Prom” or “Grad Ball”, but that was earlier in the year.
But here in Quesnel (as in other towns and cities in Canada, I’m sure) the grad process is quite an event – stretching across two days. Firstly, on the Friday, all grads gathered in the afternoon for a barbecue and then, that evening, came the cap and gown event. Fortunately friends and family were asked not to applaud for each of the 250-odd graduates as they walked off-stage, because it was oppressively hot and the procession (in the end) took insanely long to complete. Each graduate lined up to file across the stage – to have their tassel turned, then to be congratulated by someone else, before yet another person presented them with any awards or scholarships they may have won.
Despite the length of the proceedings, I was impressed with how the school honoured every graduate – whether they were going on to study law, to work in the local Safeway, to join the Royal Canadian Mounted Police or to become a mill worker.
I could have featured all the posed photos of the two students I went to watch, but instead I leave you with an unadulterated view of the high school graduation as it relates to real life here in Quesnel, British Columbia.
(Please click on gallery for bigger photos.)
Come back tomorrow for photos of the dashing couples at the Promenade and Grad Ball. We are not amused if anyone refers to it as “the prom” here in Canuckistan. It’s grad ball, got it?