Saturday, November 18, 2006
Tonight at St Patrick's Cathedral, my fourth child and second of three sons graduated from high school. He finished at the same school I graduated from thirty-three years ago (my other children had gone to different schools) so this was a pretty meaningful occasion. The cathedral building with its magnificent pipe organ and the students filing in in their academic gowns made me feel like I was in one of the scenes from Goodbye Mr Chips. It was way more formal than what happened when I left school. Then there were the photos and the meal at a city hotel. During the ceremony the students were told about the importance of passion not just knowledge and hope that they had the courage to be daring. This is in the same city that the G20 meeting is going on, and at the same time that the Make Poverty History concert was happening at the Sydney Myer Music Bowl. I had heard Tim Costello, one of the organisers, on the radio when I was driving in and heard him talk about the hope for the future with the huge amount of interest shown by young people to tackle the problem of global poverty. Back at the graduation, the Principal, in his address, used the poignant metaphor of the students being writers of the book of their future. At the dinner I heard about the aspirations of the young men at our table. They are not going to be standing still, regardless of the results they will be getting in mid December. I was glad that I was able to be there and experience once again what the whole education thing means as a parent at one of these milestones, not just as a teacher.