Hannah's Graduation,
August 2, 2001

My niece Hannah graduated from Blacksburg High School in Virginia on August 2, 2001. This is quite a big deal since she won't turn 17 until August 24th. Bored with the usual high school fare, she pushed through a grueling summer school program to graduate a year early and go on this fall to college.

Eight weeks of an astonishing schedule -- a school day long enough to choke anybody and an intensity of instruction and examination that few of us could survive. But Hannah not only survived, she thrived, and graduated with an honors academic diploma! More than good enough to start classes in the fall at Virginia Western.

Needless to say, there was a major league family turnout for the graduation. (We'll use any excuse for a party, and a 17-year-old graduating from high school is a terrific excuse indeed!)

Mom and Dad were glowing with pride, and brothers Ian and Thomas and sister Rose were very proud. A gift of flowers, hugs galore... lots of grins all the way around. Even Ian smiled, but not when there was a camera around...

Aunt Judy thought it was neat too! Surely worth a trip down from New Jersey.

And not one of us embarrassed her (well, not TOO much) by laughing out loud at a graduation speaker who -- at times -- seemed like he couldn't make up his mind whether to be serious or joking and so ended up as neither.

Out to dinner afterwards with friends and family and, of course, we had to try for a reprise of her 16th birthday "dessert" where Hannah goodnaturedly took a whipped cream pie in the face to cap off the celebration. But Hannah was not going to sit tight for that again... if SHE had to take it, somebody else would too! And the somebody else turned out to be the waiter! (He did get a decent tip...)

Going up for the diploma
Going up for the diploma

Getting the diploma
Getting the diploma

With Mom and Dad With Mom and Dad

With the family With the family

I did it, Dad!
"I did it, Dad!"

With Aunt Judy
With Aunt Judy

pie in the face
The old "pie in the face" trick

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