Today was a big day at our house. Our youngest graduated from 5th grade and our oldest from 8th grade. Since it’s also dance recital week I used some vacation and took the whole week off.
I’m glad I did, too, because I was able to attend and really enjoyed both graduations for different reasons. One was a little less formal and one was more structured like what you’d expect from graduation. Even though they weren’t the big high school graduation, I enjoyed them just as much, and wish I’d made more of a fuss over it with something fun, like leis for graduation. Still, what counted is the kids’ pride afterward.
The fifth grade one was pretty laid back. My wife and I sat at a table in the lunch room as my daughter and her friends got their certificates saying they were done with elementary school and would be middle schoolers in the Fall.
It was fun seeing how happy and carefree they all were! I miss that last day of school/start of the Summer feeling and excitement. I tried to come up with the adult equivalent but came up short.
Next was the 8th grade graduation. I didn’t have high hopes for the event based on my own experience but tried going into it with an open mind.
There was a processional into the auditorium to Thunderstruck… an AC/DC tune chosen by the class. There was also a slideshow with baby and current day pictures of the class and the walk across the stage by everyone to get their 8th grade graduation certificate.
All those things were great but my favorite part was the short talk given by the middle school principal. He’s a younger guy and it was clear that he has a way of communicating and relating to the current generation.
I’m not sure in the excitement of the day if the class got much out of his talk but I sure did. He made some great points. I made notes so I could remember them later. It was really good stuff!
The first was to “Control Your Controllables”. To emphasize the point he shared an acronym: APE.
A = Attitude P = Perspective E = Effort
These 3 things are something we each have control over every day… and in every situation. This wasn’t a new concept for the students. They got rubber bracelets earlier in the year with APE on them but I never took the time to fully comprehend the meaning until today. That’s my bad.
The principal shared another acronym: WTD. It stands for Win The Day. I love this concept. Focus on the day. Win enough days and you’ll start winning weeks, months, and years. It all starts with one DAY!
To close his talk he played a YouTube video of Naval Adm. William H. McRaven on the importance of making your bed. It seems like a strange idea at first but having watched the video it makes a lot of sense.
The video speaks for itself so I’ll share it below.
Today, I was reminded once again, not to let my past and preconceived notions cloud my thoughts and instead enjoy each experience on it’s own and for what it is.
Today was a big day… and it was a great day!