Nothing but what the seniors’ older siblings and cousins got for a Wiscasset graduation will look or feel exactly right. That big day and then the moving on with their diplomas and lives are the prizes high schoolers have their eyes on for years. And until this year, it didn’t, in Wiscasset, include fireworks, a parade in town and the principal going around in a cart in the parking lot to present the diplomas.
But when you think about it, or at least when I do, what it will be, although quite different in several respects due to COVID-19, is an accomplishment. Would you have liked to figure out how to pull off a socially distanced graduation?
The plan’s alternate scenarios for parts of the ceremony, depending on the state’s rules come graduation time, show the school department has done its homework.
Fireworks and a parade through town don’t say graduation in Wiscasset, but this year they do, and like everything else, a spring without baseball, pro or school, and a summer without the strawberry festival, and with the continued risk of illness and death, different is going to have to be OK. And it should be appreciated. What if it saves a life, or keeps a few people from being sick, maybe hospitalized? We’ll never know, but that’s kind of the point, like all the car accidents that don’t happen a month because someone wasn’t texting and driving. Those are the wins.
This will also be an interesting graduation to cover, one without the pictures of hallway hugs and groups of underclassmen friends and alumni friends helping make up an audience in the bleachers and folding chairs. But it will document what was. I’m almost sure there will still be smiles, tears and near tears, and I know there will be cheers. That’s even in the announced plan.
And wouldn’t it be something if a little of this year’s graduation rubbed off on next year’s and became part of Wiscasset’s graduation tradition? A parade through town, maybe the day before graduation or the afternoon of, would supplement, instead of helping to replace, the evening’s ceremony in Stover Auditorium. I could picture that, and the fireworks after the ceremony as people finish emptying the building and filling the parking lot to go home.
Now that would be cool.
One more thing: This year’s parking lot ceremony and a parade and fireworks don’t go well with rain, so rather than scrubbing parts of the plan if the forecast turns gloomy, and proves right, could there be a rain date?
I can understand potential why-not’s – the logistics of traffic control and more; but if the rain date was baked in, for the seniors’ sake, and how about town pride and enjoyment when everyone could really use it, the why’s have it.