Girls in White Dresses

Girls in white dresses and boys in blue blazers and ties made quite an impression on a cool, breezy Sunday morning in Carpinteria. It was commencement morning for 60 seniors, giddy with excitement as they waited in the McIntosh Room prior to the processional. When the school orchestra started to play Pomp and Circumstance, it hit me that it was really happening. Our daughter who surprised us by saying she wanted to go away to school, who stuck it out even when it got tough and who worked hard to carve out a place for herself, is finally walking to the stage to finish out her high school career, arm in arm with her best friend from the first day of orientation, three years ago. We are so proud.

Headmaster Ben Williams’ remarks on how much six words can say struck a funny bone, when he mentioned a man’s epitaph on his gravestone: I told you I was ill. Or struck heartstrings when he quoted the famous Hemingway six: For Sale: Baby shoes, never worn. But the six in the moment: Cate School presents this diploma to abounds with multiple interpretations, which signifies the end of high school but also with a beginning. The rest of the story for each graduate is yet to be written. Monique Parsons, the guest speaker at the Baccalaureate service the evening before, compared this time in life as the transitional period similar to Ganesh, the Hindi elephant head god, who lives in a worldly state between life and death. Ganesh, appropriately is considered the god of education, of success and good fortune and the destroyer of obstacles. All high school graduates now are one step ahead and have the world at their feet. It is their time to continue moving forward and to make a difference in this world, no matter what comes their way and what may hinder their path. It is a beautiful morning. My six: Congratulations to the Class of 2011!

To celebrate, we had a BBQ with lots of family pitching in (recipes later for an awesome grilled chicken and roasted chicken chili) and for dessert, a luscious white chocolate raspberry cake from Jeannine’s Bakery in Montecito. If you’re ever in the area, this bakery café is highly recommended!

Posted By: Jan Opdahl
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