Okay, I know I am overdue for a post (especially since I started a three-week creation series with a giveaway–see Enjoying and Observing Creation, Week 1), but please accept my apologies as I digress for this week and write about the events of the past five days. Next week I will resume the creation series along with the giveaway opportunity.
I began the school year with a post entitled “Life at Stony Brook” and it feels appropriate to end the school year with a similar post—“Life at Stony Brook—the end of our first year.” How quickly time flies! On Saturday, May 26, Stony Brook graduated 57 seniors, officially marking the end of the school term. (I had to include a photo of Brad in all his regalia. As low man on the totem pole, he was at the back of the faculty processional.)
The past week has been intense and thrilling all in the same mix. The week started with finals and ended with prom, class parties, Baccalaureate, Class Night, and graduation on Saturday. As I reflect on the past nine months, several images capture the thoughts and feelings running through my head at the moment.
The first is tradition. Stony Brook is a school steeped in tradition. From the ringing of the dinner bell in the dining hall every night to the graduation processional from Memorial Hall to Swanson Gymnasium, rituals abound at this 90-year-old school. This past weekend with all of the end-of-the-year ceremonies and celebrations I felt honored to be a part of these traditions, knowing in some small way that these observances are now part of my family’s story.
The next image is hard to capture in one word. But what comes to mind is a picture of a tree with deep roots. When you live together, eat together, learn together, and worship together, roots are bound to go deep. I didn’t know any one senior really well, but I certainly got a foretaste of the rich relationships in store for our family. I can only imagine how I will feel when Jacob’s class or Anna’s class graduates. I will know the members of their classes.
More than anything, I am filled with a sense of gratitude for Stony Brook and the people who make up this community. It isn’t a perfect place (is there one?), but I have witnessed sincere love and care among the faculty for one another and for their students. So with a sense of relief and thankfulness, I am glad the first year is over. It certainly had its share of joys and frustrations (and exhaustion for Brad), but it was worth it and I’m glad I can call Stony Brook my place too.