3 P.M in South Central Los Angeles. The sun beams down on people waiting to see their children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, cousins, etc. walk an assembled stage on the football field. We do not get an auditorium but this will suffice 300+ students graduating LOCKE HIGH SCHOOL.
We are inside a the Gym waiting for the word......... "GO!".
We begin to walk out in an orderly manner.
300+ students walk, not for immigrant rights, but for pride. It is our Graduation; A dream 13 years in the making (Kindergarden included). We walk with our heads up and smiles upon our faces and nothing can make us lose our happiness. A sense of accomplishment has filled most of us as we proceed to attain our dream.
We look all around us and see memories. The past, present and the future surrounds us in a soft, warm, embrace and tell us, "It is okay. You made it". We look at faces and take mental pictures that will one day possibly disappear. We smile and continue walking, knowing what is ahead of us.
We graduate in a field that has seen me at my best and worst. It has seen me succeed and fail in disgust at myself. This field has seen some of us grow, some of us explore. I walk this field for one last time, I believe, as I walk towards my seat.
As people talk and people perform I look toward the past with pride and the future with hope. I look around and see plenty of my peers look "bored" but I know it is sadness. I see some hold back tears, I see some look into their memory banks, "Remember how.......",
"You know when..........", "Do you remember........". I do.... I do. I have a fond memory of all those things and more. We enjoy each other's company but we all know we will soon have to go.
The names begin to be called. One by one we cheer for our friends, and aquaintances. We cheer for happiness, hope and a future. We walk up and hear our names. We hear our school and then we hear our friends. Faint cheers are heard and are thanked for by our souls; Elevated to a state of Euphoria. We walk and negate all our bad feelings, this is a special moment.
Graduation, the sign of our partial success. It is a key to a better tomorrow. It is a step on the ladder of life. It is a feeling that seldom is matched. The conformation of our Graduation brings us a sense of rebirth. We are not little ignorant kids anymore. We have beat the system, a little. We passed their obstacles and set goals that are for the most part unmatched.
Nothing last forever and I know everything has changed. Soon there will be some class that will surpass us in Graduates. I know that there are some who still wish for more days of childhood and dependence but it can't be. We are Graduates! We are Men and Women! We are what society does not want us to be, Successful! WE have proved them wrong so now we march towards better days.