As high school educators we have attended more graduation ceremonies than we care to remember. Our high schools were large; graduating classes often had over 800 names to be read. The speeches tended to be boring, predictable, and platitudinous. We were delighted to attend our niece's graduation ceremony, because becoming a DVM is a big deal, but our expectations for the actual event were pretty low. But with a graduating class of 94 and a faculty who had been closely involved with all these students, the ceremony was intimate and personal and blessedly brief. Even our almost two year old grandnephew made it through. He enjoyed the music and clapped after every piece. During the boring parts he rotated from lap to lap and made it to the end without having to leave prematurely.
While the ceremony was taking place, sick kittens from an animal shelter were hanging around in the new Dr.'s bathroom. She had analyzed their blood in an effort to diagnose the cause of their diarrhea and was trying to determine an appropriate dosage of medicine for their tiny bodies. Such devotion was nothing new, but now she has the skills to make a difference in animals' lives.
After having been gone for five months we are more than ready to be at home. We would have been home three or four weeks already, if we hadn't been waiting for this big day. But now that it is over we are not sure if we should leave. Heavy winds and thunderstorms have been marching across the route home and shutting down some interstates. Avoiding the worst of it will add at least 200 more miles to the drive. Maybe we should just stay put and wait for another day. The best decision remains unclear.