Paynes

Random Acts of…Graduation

It was another beautiful night in the Granite Bowl. Well, after the unceasing downpours, big umbrellas that obscure the view, and trek from Elberton Federal down the hill and around the stadium in the drizzle with Uncle Corey wearing Amelia in the Bjorn and the telling everyone that this is his baby he picked up at Wal-Mart, it was a beautiful night in the Granite Bowl. And for those who have never been lucky enough to experience the Granite Bowl, it is what it says. A great big bowl of a football stadium entirely built of granite.

Well, it is Elberton and we only have so many things to be proud of.

But tonight we (and about 2000 other people) were all VERY proud. Proud of the 200 graduates who wore the blue and white and walked the line and turned their tassles and accepted their diplomas as the Class of 2010, a class that has defied expectations. As a sister of one of those graduates, I am so proud to hear of their accomplishments. As an educator, I truly understand the pride that comes with saying they are the first class to help ECCHS make AYP, they have the best graduation test scores in the history of the school, and they graduated a higher percentage of their class last night than any class before them.

But enough about everybody else. Because we were there in force, in ponchos, and under umbrellas, sitting on beach towels and plastic changing pads (thanks, Amelia!) to celebrate for Kelsey, who is Payne #6 to graduate with the sunset behind her and a bright future ahead of her.

Kels, I know you are worried. I know you feel left behind by all your friends heading off in the fall. I know you want to do more than just settle for what’s available. But for now, let’s let all that be and revel in the moment. You have accomplished something that many don’t, that many dream of, that many wish they hadn’t given up on. You have the ticket to a better life inside a blue folder and printed on a transcript.

Twelve years of tears and drama, sports and clubs, friends and foes is over. You will take with you academic knowledge and life know-how. High school is just a foundation for you to build upon. I am so proud that your experience has made you strong, confident, and beautiful.

May God give you all the desires of your heart. Love you sweet Kelsey-elsie!

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