The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, June 15, 2007


Concord-Carlisle graduate reflects on Senior Week

Diane Lee shares graduation honors with her brother David who just graduated from the University of Virginia. He graduated from CCHS in 2003. (Courtesy photo)
There is a "Zits" comic strip that I unfortunately cannot uncover from the journals full of clippings and images that I collect, but nevertheless, I remember it: Jeremy, the aspiring teenage rock star, sits in his room with a note taped to his computer screen. In menacing, capital letters, it says: "FIVE-PAGE ESSAY DUE TOMORROW." The moon shines outside his window, and Jeremy's mother peeks through his bedroom door with a worried face. Jeremy sits at his desk with a bulky dictionary in his hands and with anxious desperation in his eyes. To reassure himself of the daunting task ahead, his thought bubble reads: "All of the words I need are right here. All I have to do is put them in the right order."

While each of us Concord-Carlisle graduates of this amazing Class of 2007 exist with depth, with movement, action — so much more beyond the colored pixels and black outlines of a cartoon — like Jeremy, we all have the dictionary full of words in front of us and the privilege to arrange everything in our own way. For the past four years at Concord-Carlisle High School, surrounding us has been this diverse catalog of personalities, of possibilities, of opportunities sports, art, classes, and mentors, companions, and lovers. While life is not meant to be arranged in our calendars, we all have the ability to determine ourselves and our identity through our actions — whether we decide to participate in soccer or cross-country, or if we choose to grin and say hello in the hallway. Throw in a little bit of chance, and here we are; we've graduated.

Up to the moment we walked up to the stage and received our diplomas at graduation on Saturday, this senior week has gone by in an aura of camaraderie that I wish we could have had throughout high school since freshman year. It's unusual, though; there is something wonderful about "the end" that allows us all to leave our inhibitions behind. We danced at Senior Prom like nobody was watching, sang karaoke at "All Night Live" the way we all sing in the shower, dove onto the floor to escape being hit during the dodgeball tournament as if the foam ball were a speeding bullet, and rode "Superman" at Six Flags over and over again because the first time wasn't enough. Our boundaries melted away and we abandoned our "What ifs" and in some cases, we even reunited with old friends whom we haven't spoken to in high school. I've given so many bear hugs and smiles to those I don't want to forget or leave behind, and made plans to hang out with my best friend, old friends, and even new friends this summer before we all begin our own paths in the fall. I can't wait — for both.

A different scrap taped in my journal which I have always savored reading over and over again was written by a friend: "Before we arrive at the realization that life is real and not some game [of] our imagination, we are able to run wild and any tree can become a monster and any river can become a moat protecting a castle." I can't help but love the fact that when you're five, you can run up to the boy you like and kiss him, and shriek and giggle and run away. When we were young, we could run around naked; literally, naked; but also stripped of our inhibitions. Can we hold on to that or is it meant to be fleeting? While it seems like we only move further away from childhood as life becomes tangled with boundaries, I think our high school experience helps us remember how. Those moments where we spill our fears, our dreams, our passions, our endearing, dorky questions about what to do in awkward situations and the most mortifying moments in the presence of the opposite sex, these all help us hold on.

For many of us, though we may grow apart, our graduation from C-C unites us in an irreplaceable way. Not only that, it reaffirms a part of our identity and our pride. We have successfully passed through a top institution, and we have all gotten an inch closer to figuring out who we want to be. For us, here, now, Concord-Carlisle High School has marked each of our journeys and we will never forget it. Congratulations and best of luck to our Concord-Carlisle Class of 2007. I can't wait to see you all again.

2007 The Carlisle Mosquito