Thursday, June 12, 2008

The Graduate

Yesterday was a big day in the life of our family. Our only child, our daughter graduated from high school.

I've mentioned before that she attended Friends Select, a Quaker School on the Parkway in Center City. It seems she just started and now she's done. In a minute, she'll be off to South Beach U (which is what I call the school she'll be attending in Miami) this fall.

In Quaker tradition, graduation is held in the Meetinghouse (the place of worship) and is a simple, but lovely ceremony. Consistent with that, the students were dark suits and white dresses, rather than caps and gowns.

My daughter bemoaned the lack of cap and gown for months. She threatened to show up at graduation in one but, in the end, acceded to the wishes of the school. But I borrowed a cap and gown and let her don one afterward.

As she heads off to her life, I reminded her what success really is, from a favorite quote:

To laugh often and much, to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children, to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends, to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others, to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived.

This is to have succeeded!

~~Ralph Waldo Emerson


Susan said...

She looks beautiful. Too bad, though, she didn't go to the Jewish Quaker school my younger daughter attended. Caps and gowns, band processional, and held outside in the evening- just like public school.

quakerdave said...

Congratulations. You must be sooooooooo proud.

Been there, felt that.