Last night was the induction ceremony for National Junior Honor Society at Sydney's school. And, she finally got the chance to wear that purple dress.
What is it with kids not wanting their picture taken??? Don't they know that we're proud parents and want to remember this good moment? Don't they understand that we live on these good moments while we're willing ourselves not to strangle them?
I was inducted into NJHS. I was in 8th grade. Things were certainly different then.
Last night, I saw the officers of NJHS light a candle and talk about what each of the NJHS qualifications meant.
Scholarship; Good grades. A GPA of 85%, B average, or 3.0 depending on the scale the school system uses. If they meet this qualification, then they are evaluated on the remaining qualifications.
Service, defined through voluntary contributions made to the school or community done with a positive, courteous and enthusiastic spirit.
Leadership; resourceful, good problem solvers, promoters of school activities, dependable, positive attitude about life.
Character; upholds principles of morality and ethics, cooperation. Demonstrates high standards of honesty and reliability, shows courtesy, concern and respect for others.
Citizenship; understands the importance of civic involvement, has a high regard for freedom, justice and democracy and demonstates mature participation and responsibility through involvement.
Who? My kid? The one that lives at our house?
Somewhere, I have the newspaper clipping where I was inducted. There were 4 of us. This was the early years of Junior Honor Society. I'd had cousins in Honor Society in High School, but had not heard of a branch for Junior High, or Middle school. I couldn't find the clipping despite turning my memory boxes and scrapbooks upside down. So, let me tell you a bit about that day.
This was the 70's and it was the south. Two members inducted were white and two were african-american. Two boys and two girls. Fred was the son of a teacher at the school. Fred was very attractive and very warm and friendly and outgoing. Everybody was his friend. He did not have any of the friend issues I had in school. One of the girls was Denise. I had grown up with Denise and don't remember when we met; I just always knew her. We went to the same schools and the same church. She was a fixture in my childhood. I don't remember the other girl's name. Sure wish I could find that clipping.
I remember that taking the picture was wierd. It was very rush-rush and seemed unexpected and unplanned. I'm not sure all the school staff would have approved of white children and black children in the same newspaper photo and I think the schools NJHS faculty sponsor wanted to make sure her son's picture made it into the paper. And, who could blame her? I remember that they had the two boys pretend to be talking to one another and the two girls were pretending to talk to one another. The headline was National Junior Honor Society Members Named.
We had the whole world ahead of us then. The chance to make a difference and as far as we knew, there was nothing that could stop us.
I had two years in Honor Society and then we moved. The school I moved to didn't put much stock in Honor Society. I don't remember ever meeting or anything like that. Seemed that school was more interested in the football team and the FFA and the 4H club than Honor Society. And, Honor Society passed through my life like so many other things.
When we got home last night, I was a bit dazed. It had all been a bit overwhelming.
First, the crowd. According to school faculty, the turnout for the induction and awards ceremony last night was the biggest crowd the school has drawn for any activity. We're part of a parental involvement trend, I guess. We've been hearing this comment from faculty since 4th grade. We've seen schools have to open extra rooms and expand plans to accomodate us and last night, we saw many familiar faces from the 4 years that Sydney's been in this school district. We are the parents and we turn out. According to faculty, we're the first group to turn out in such large numbers in many years.
It was also the night for the school orchestra's extraordinary performers to do their solos and the first was a cellist and he was fantastic. The second was a violinist and he was better. The third one was...overwhelming. His playing was so beautiful it brought tears to my eyes and just after he started, I heard other people around us gasp at the beauty of his music. After they were released, two and three came and sat in the row in front of us and Rob and I couldn't help but lean forward and congratulate them on their wonderful performances. Oh, how I'd love for my little girl to love anything, to be devoted to anything, to practice ANYTHING like these boys clearly had.
And, I had my own memories of my induction ceremony, 36 years ago, where the teachers each lit a candle and talked about one of the qualifications for NJHS. And, I thought about that newspaper clipping and Fred and Denise. And I thought about how invincible I felt then, before I had lived my life.
I was also confused about how my girl qualified. I spoke this to Rob and he introduced the idea that there is the Sydney we fight with to do homework, but there must also be another Sydney that is helpful and is a good citizen and does care about society. I was like that.
I wish I knew more about that other girl. Someday I'd like to meet her and I hope I will. In the meantime, I'll keep pushing her to do her homework and to learn spanish and math. I'll make her eat good food and teach her to make good decisions. And, I'll try to encourage her to keep writing and trying and I'll be there to help her up when she falls. And, I think I'll buy her something from the online NJHS store that she can keep, like I keep that clipping. Something to remind her of when she was invincible.
Happy Way Back Wednesday,