A Different Kind Of Graduation

May 30, 2017

It’s graduation season, and the anticipation is palpable at the high school where I’m the librarian. Our seniors have been marking the countdown with giant numbers they’ve suspended over the second-story balcony.

Caps and gowns have been delivered; yearbooks are being signed; and our printers are overflowing with final papers.

A few weeks ago I told a class of seniors my news: After 16 school years, at least at this institution, I’ll be graduating with them – and that I, too, have a bad case of “senioritis” in anticipation of my retirement.

The word for retirement in Spanish is jubilacion, and I’m in favor of using its English version, jubilation, in place of the tired, old word, retirement.

Just as our seniors are in a state of jubilee for their next chapter, so am I about mine. And people are asking us the same proverbial question: What are you going to do?

I have several different responses to that question, ranging from the philosophical (I’m going to find my natural rhythm), to the pragmatic (I’m going to go to the gym more and clean out my basement), to the realistic (I’m going to see if I calculated my retirement funds correctly and possibly be looking for a part-time job).

Most of our seniors, on the other hand, have a plan – they’ll become freshmen again at colleges near and far. I think I’ll also feel like a freshman in my new role as “jubilatee!”

I’m Paula Garrett, and that’s my perspective.