I graduated thrice in my life. My first graduation took place in 2009 at the Edith-Stein Realschule in Parsberg, Bavaria (Bayern), Germany. For me, that was such a big day. That was the moment that meant the end of my childhood and the start of entering into the real world for me. I was the only child to start and finish my education in the German system, and I was so set on living a life in Germany at the time. I’ve also spent many memorable and annoying years with the same people in one classroom, so this graduation was the most meaningful one to me.
As the big day drew nearer, all the graduating classes began to meet after school to take ballroom dance classes. It was a mandatory thing. We had to bring in the shoes and heels we planned to wear at the graduation and dance in those for a good three to four hours. I had a lot of fun.
We learned different styles of ballroom dancing, like, maybe five or so, but the ones I always looked forward to practicing were the foxtrot
and the waltz
I had an amazing dance partner as well. We knew each other since the 5th grade, which was what I would consider freshman year in a way, only because I left my small town elementary school, and went to a bigger school in the “city” (it wasn’t that big compared to Regensburg or Munich, but at the time, shit seemed huge).
Another cool thing, now that I think about it was that we didn’t have to couple up in a traditional guy/girl manner. There were some girls who coupled up as well as guys. Funny to watch at the time, and I’m sure that happened only because there may have been an odd number of people, or some girls just didn’t want to dance with the guys that were left to choose from; but still, pretty cool in hindsight, now that I know there are still schools out there that make a big deal out of same sex couples going to prom and shit.
The day of graduation, things started off a little hectic. I was running on that ni**a time (as in late). I was supposed to be at the church, where the ceremonial part of the graduation took place, because I had to sing at it. My dad dropped me off, I ran inside, I was dressed pretty well, so I looked pretty fierce as I rushed in that Gothic church dressed to the T in my Hugo Boss and Tommy Hilfiger get up. The crowd was like
All eyes were on me, Hunny! My fellow band members promptly greeted me with a mic, and then we got the damn show on the road! We sang a few gospels, and I don’t know, some ritualistic shit that the Catholic churches tend to do, and “Hallelujah” by Jeff Buckley.
Later that evening the actual Ball took place. We were in some fancy venue (it was a gym, but a fancy dressed up gym), we had a band playing and all the graduating students entered onto the floor and performed all the different ball room dance styles we had been learning for the past weeks. After that it was a drink and dance as you please night. I was having a lot of fun! I really felt special when my friends requested the band to stop playing their shit so that I could sing my “hit” song by Lenny Kravitz called “Again”. That for sure was a special moment. I never considered myself popular or meaningful in any type of way at my school, but whenever I sang for my peers or the school in general, none of that status shit even mattered… to a certain extent. I did feel cool when I would sing, and go to different events and get payed, and whenever the music director pulled me out of class for emergency rehearsals… Well shit, I guess that was the one thing that did make me feel relevant at school. That and all the crazy junk food I would bring with me for lunch occasionally, such as ribs, burgers, chicken, hot dogs, Hubba Bubba, beef jerky etc… Not a typical school lunch in Germany.
Anyway, I was very happy, flattered and felt very special to sing for my peers one last time. I was also very sad and upset that my dad didn’t attend. He had to watch the rest of my brothers, which didn’t make any sense, because they were at an age where they wouldn’t do shit that would result in them killing themselves or burning down the house. We were usually often home alone anyway. I mean, we were pretty self sufficient kids.
I guess my dad did try to make up for missing my first graduation, when I went to the American school and graduated from there in 2010
as well as when I graduated college in 2013
But Hunny, those two “milestones” meant nothing to me like my very first graduation. I don’t understand why I can’t find a fuck to give about them. Probably because I consider them a been there done that case. I’ve also just never been that into formalities, ceremonies and rituals. Receiving a trophy, certificate, or a pat on the back in front of large crowds of people doesn’t really do much for me; it’s not very satisfying. Don’t get me wrong, it is nice to receive recognition for keeping one’s shit together, while putting up with the shit of others; but don’t print out a piece of paper saying “Thanks for putting up with my shit”. Hunny, that’s not fun.
I wanna know where the party at?!
Is there alcohol??
Is there food?!?
Will I be receiving a lifetime’s worth of free alcohol and food???!
Is there a promotion and raise involved????!?
And if that’s asking for too much, I’d settle for a free two year paid vacation to anywhere I feel like going within those two years.
Hunny, that’s what I call a rewarding award!!
Thanks for Reading!
P.S. One of my best friends recently graduated High School! Yay for him and Congratulations!!!