It started to rain this morning. I’m pretty sure I heard thunder in the distance too. Or it was a lawnmower starting up, it was hard to tell. I’m not overly impressed at this situation.
What’s really annoying is how pleasant it was yesterday. While my girlfriend was at a meeting I walked to the library and back, enjoying the lovely sunshine. Rabbits were out, squirrels were out, everybody was happy. And it was like that all day.
Oh I will warn you that it might be difficult for me to publish something on the weekends because the library is closed and that’s my one reliable internet source. It doesn’t affect Solidus too much because I rarely ever see any news on a Saturday or Sunday but it does mean I can’t post anything on my blog. So what I’ll probably do is write a longer post on Monday talking about what happened over the weekend. That might include Friday’s events too, as it was a struggle getting this published today. I’ll try my best in future but take this as a heads up that you may not hear from me for a few days. I miss the internet.
Moving on and what did I do this Friday? Well to start with, my girlfriend and I went for a walk around Ironton.
To give you a bit of background information, Crosby and Ironton are two separate towns but there is no distinguishing line between them. You could easily start your walk in Crosby and without realizing, head into Ironton. According to my girlfriend, Crosby’s population is about 2300 while Ironton has around 570 people living in it. What else? Well they both share a school (their logo is displayed on the Ironton tower) and they both have their own water towers. On our walk I took some pictures. Here is one of them.
I will make another post with the rest of my pictures, once I get an internet connection fast enough to upload them. I’m not, and never will be, anything more than an amateur photographer (holding the camera right is the best I can do) but hopefully the pictures I did take will offer you an idea on what the place is like. Vanna is somewhat mixed on Ironton but I really enjoyed the walk and I like how both towns are joined together. As far as I’m aware, we don’t really get that in England. It’s usually quite clear where one town ends and the next one starts. There might be houses in between but you can work it out. Here you just have the ‘welcome to’ signs to let you know.
Of course the walk wasn’t the key part of our day. That would be Brit (Vanna’s cousin) graduating from Pillager High School.
Now I feel I should clear up a few points at this stage. One, I didn’t realize that we were going to the actual Graduation at the school. I honestly thought we were going to the party, even though nobody had said the word ‘party’ at any point, including myself. Two, Americans take graduating high school very seriously. It could have just been our school, but we never made a big deal of it. However I do think that’s just our mentality to it, especially when you consider 6th Form/College and then University still await you.
Anyway, here is a picture Vanna took of the venue.
We arrived pretty early but because we didn’t have tickets, we had to sit on the bleachers at the back. And as somebody who has long legs that get very uncomfortable after a short space of time, it wasn’t ideal. But I persevered through it. There were several speeches, a couple of songs played by the band (not as good as Vanna’s band, I’m told) and a few sung by the choir (they aren’t as good as Vanna’s school either). There was definitely a sense of pride in the room, both from the parents and the teachers. But it was very motivational. Even I, who finished that stage of school over four years ago, was feeling rather motivated. I started thinking about my book and everything. And it’s hard not to when you are in that atmosphere. Hidden behind the jokes and anecdotes there was some real meaning to their words. Lots of sentiment and dedication to making this group of teenagers geared towards a career they could be proud of. It was inspirational.
I must admit I zoned out a little though.
When you have no association to the school, or the teachers, and only a slight awareness of one of the 60 students graduating (it’s a small school), it’s hard to stay interested. Especially when you have to clap every single thing of them (there was plenty of whooping too, but not from me; I don’t whoop). My hands are still a little sore.
I just don’t think British people are really into it. Now that I think about it, I believe our school did have a little assembly afterwards, but I never went. Hmm.
My point remains valid because it wouldn’t compare to what I saw yesterday. They have robes and hats and everything. Some of them even brought in light sabers.
But the best bit is yet to come. Once this is over, the group has an hour or so before they go to ‘Grad Blast’, which is where the entire class return to the school and do activities until the early hours of the morning. I know it doesn’t sound like much but I’ve seen pictures and it looks amazing. They’ll go bowling or run at each other in sumo suits. I know I’m not doing it much justice but honestly, I’d want to do it and I don’t do anything that requires movement.
Yet we never got anything like that. I’m feeling robbed right now. Our version would consist of playing tiddlywinks or kicking a ball about outside. The aim of it is for them to have one last memory together as a group. Even though our schools are much bigger, surely we could arrange something too? We had a very tedious prom. Urgh.
The Grad Blast is also done to stop these new graduates from underage drinking. That makes a lot of sense, given how tough America is on drinking. But when you consider our legal age is only a few years away from this stage (in comparison Americans have to wait five years from this point), is it not better to spend your final school day running around like a lunatic than drinking cheap cider in the park? I know I’d rather be drunk tired and covered in bruises than waking up with a terrible hangover.
Speaking of sleeping badly, Vanna has had a bad cold for the past few days but like a trooper, she’s going to work today anyway. I’ve been clear so far, but my sore throat hasn’t disappeared like it usually does in the mornings…feeling a bit bunged up too.
Now its raining again.