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Friday Slide Show: Congrats, Grads! Share This on LinkedIn   Tweet This   Forward This

3 June 2022

The school up the block went to some elaborate lengths to celebrate its grammar school graduates during the pandemic.

As we showed in our The Class of 2020 slide show, one of the ways it honored them was with huge banners. That looked great but didn't work too well when the wind picked up. A few of them became detached and needed an emergency weekend repair.

As we were editing this piece, we ran across Sydney Page's story in the Washington Post about a 12-year-old boy who couldn't get any of his classmates to sign his yearbook. Until, that is, some older students stepped in. We thought you'd appreciate the happy ending.

But for a long time, the tradition was to chalk the names of the graduates on the sidewalk. There are only a couple dozen or so, so big script with elaborate flourishes covered the sidewalk with the sort of unrestrained joy you would expect. We showed you that in our The Chalked Sidewalk slide show in 2017.

This year the chalk returned but the two women doing the chalking used a system that relied on stencils to chalk a name in a star.

There's some mystery for us to the order in which they appear. It isn't alphabetical. That's all we can tell you.

But we love the idea.

The chalk of eight years of grammar school blackboards finally writing your name for all the world to see.

And even better, the morning we walked up the street to take photos, the sun was casting shadows of the olive trees over the stars. They were bathed in the shadows of the trees of knowledge, you might say.

The weather has been misty since we photographed our neighborhood stars and soon the chalk will wash away. But nothing can wash away the achievement of having graduated.

So as we do each year, whether we publish a slide show or not, we applaud you, graduates.

[Outright prolonged applause...]

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