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Where Have You Been, Class of 2024?

By Administrator

May 10, 2024

There will never be another time like it.

It’s a story that started seventeen... eighteen years ago in a world that was very different from the world today. There was no Instagram or TikTok. There were no Internet TV streaming services or ChatGPT. “X?” someone would have asked, “What is that?”

When these grads, these young men and women of the class of 2024, were born, people listened to the Justin Timberlake or Beyonce or Carrie Underwood on music subscriptions on file sharing platforms such as Napster and Kazaa on MP3 players. Families still had their home phones, although they were portable and no longer attached to the wall and would lose its charge if we forgot to put it back in its port. A family may have had one cell phone, but children did not carry cell phones. Text messages were just being used from phone to phone and were extremely expensive to send. Cell phones did not take photos. The phone book was still used, although people were just beginning to remove their landlines. This was before cell phones could track people’s contacts. People still looked in the white pages or the yellow pages or, if those two didn’t work, called “information”. Gas cost $2.50 as we were in conflict with the Middle East. Pluto was determined to not be one of the nine planets and was instead defined as a ‘dwarf planet.’ Minimum wage was $5.15 an hour but rose to $6.85 the next year. A hamburger at McDonald’s was 94 cents, and George W. Bush was president.

When these grads were just learning to walk and talk, Barak Obama was the first black president and Osama Bin Laden was dead. When they went to pre-school, the country converted healthcare to Obamacare, the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Haiti Earthquake shook the world . When they were in kindergarten, Instagram was launched, tablets were given to children for learning and entertainment, and “The Walking Dead” premiered on TV. Year after year, a veritable avalanche of events and inventions known as apps, apple watches, Roomba, and Netflix were launched. A movement called Black Lives Matter, BREXIT in England, a billionaire named Trump, and a pandemic was part of their childhood experiences. iPhones. iPads. iPods. Instagram. Tik Toc. SnapChat. Kindles and robots, AI, and electric and self-driving cars and capturing the power of the sun and the wind.

Yet, somehow, as the world changed around them at a pace faster than at any other time in history, a constancy prevailed, and these grads who used to be children still did, as children, what children do. They rode bikes. They had sleepovers. They watched fireworks on the 4th of July.

They went to school.

And from that moment when they let go of their parents’ hand and stepped for the first time into the classroom, alone, nothing would ever be the same again.

At first, the days might have been long and a little lonely and, perhaps, a little scary, as well. But those days soon became months, and those months became years, and school, that literal world within a world, gradually helped to shape and mold them into who they are.

One can only wonder on the eve of this chapter’s end what memories come back to these grads. Is it a montage of adrenalin-filled victories amplified by the roar of a crowd filled with family and friends? Is it the poignant sorrows of the less than triumphant times when the disappointment of loss was impossible to hide? Or perhaps it’s the quiet satisfaction that comes from doing what had seemed undoable or the hard but equally valuable lesson that’s learned from not doing what could have been done.

Then again, maybe the memories are no more than glimpses of those things that will never be heard or seen or felt in quite the same way again. The sound of lockers closing, one after another, right before the beginning of class. The aroma of food being cooked drifts from the cafeteria when lunch is still hours away. The stillness of the library mingles with the distinct scent that can only come from shelves upon shelves of books. The energy of familiar voices in the hallway on the last day before Christmas break. The sudden silence that fills those hallways when all the students have left.

There is no doubt that graduation is the final punctuation that closes this chapter in life. But one can only hope that the class of 2024 does not simply view high school as past, but, instead, views it as an introduction to what’s yet to come, for their story is far, far from over.

Schedule of Graduation Ceremonies

  • McClave High School – May 5, 2024 at 1:30 pm
  • Kit Carson High School – May 12, 2024 at 2:00 pm
  • Cheyenne Wells High School – May 12, 2024 at 2:00 pm
  • Holly High School – May 19, 2024 at 2:00 pm
  • Wiley High School – May 24, 2024 at 6:00 pm
  • Plainview High School – May 25, 2024 at 10:00 am
  • Granada High School – May 25, 2024 at 2:00 pm
  • Eads High School – May 25, 2024 at 2:00 pm

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