Sunday, May 1, 2011


John Marine | 5/01/2011 09:24:00 PM | | | |
Congratulations if you are going to graduate, get your degree, get promoted to higher grades, or anything like that! The best way to be done with school or college is to get your degree or complete a course with satisfactory marks. Maybe you are in a certain level of school and working to get promoted to the next level of school. Maybe you are a High School student ready to advance to college. Maybe you are in college and working to get a degree. Whatever your situation, my blog post here is for you. This blog post is a salute to everyone who will be graduating, getting their degree, or anything like that.

Most of this blog post concerns just graduation. However, I included promotion and getting degrees as part of the discussion.

--- The Meaning of Graduation ---

^ from: - When you take to the stage after hearing Pomp and Circumstance, you know that all of your hard work will finally be rewarded with the highest honor any learning institution can bestow its students- graduation (or promotion if in lower grade level schools).

Graduation means that you completed all that is asked of you to complete your studies. This is your way of telling your family and your classmates that you did the impossible. School and education are predicated on taking in lessons while enhancing and enriching your skills. You will have loads of social issues and everything to deter your interest to an extent, but it all boils down to hitting the books and making as high of grades as you can. You have the rest of your life ahead of you- why not handle school so you can look forward to a happier life when you eventually graduate?

I think people take this for granted, like we're all going to go through each grade successfully. That is completely NOT true. School, like life, is a constant struggle to be better each day and each year than we were in past days and years. The lessons we learn now will carry us into the future. School is a long drag, but it is a long drag that makes us all better and prepares us better for life. There are even those who may have had to repeat a certain grade or grades because of poor performance. Whatever it takes, if you think school sucks, there's only one way to be done with school (like it or not)- graduate. It is the least damaging way to be done with school. After grade school, you can think about college.

What about college? You'll have your fair share of gaining degrees to help you land better jobs in the future. College is certainly tougher than anything you've faced in grade school. Getting your degrees will take a great deal of time and effort. You will need to push yourself even further to even get any kind of degree ranging from an Associate's to any Post-Graduate degrees.

For any level of education, the main goal is to graduate. It takes effort and years of your life to perfect yourself and your mind for the future. Perhaps the greatest challenge of education is to make sure your skills are great for years to come. Graduation basically says that you've mastered all you need to know or have cleared the most basic of criteria to warrant graduation.

--- Graduation: Kindergarten to 12th Grade ---
Most of this blog post pertains to graduation, so I'll share my experiences. For my international readers, I'll explain my road through grade school through the system used here in most United States schools. Elementary school is Kindergarten through 5th Grade. The Secondary School discussion is broken down into two parts: Middle School (or Junior High School) is 6th Grade through 8th Grade, and High School (or Senior High School) is 9th Grade through 12th Grade.

So now some of you internationals understand some of what I'm about to discuss here. This is my own personal story of graduating through grade school.

Elementary Experiences.

It was somewhere between 1988 to 1990 for me when I started out in Kindergarten. I knew I was a young lad trying to learn more about the world and learn lessons that I will eventually have to prepare myself for in life. Times in elementary school were fun for me because I was kid basically enjoying being a kid. After going through some of the initial years of Elementary, including my fair share of corporal punishment and fights with fellow students, I knew getting up and up the ladder would be tough as I entered the 5th Grade. In 1994, I was pleased as I was about to get promoted to high school after a tough stretch through Elementary School. The saddest reminder for me then was how I was shafted in the school's Spelling Bee. I placed fourth on trying to spelled "bearded" or something like that. Back to my promotion. I had to sing "Hero" by Mariah Carey as part of my promotion to Middle School. Just the feeling of going to Middle School was an accomplishment for myself as well as assurance that I wouldn't let my family down. I was getting older and maturing more. Time for Middle School next!

Secondary School Experiences: Middle School.

My road through Middle School was not fun. After just two weeks at one bad Middle School, I would eventually complete my Middle School education elsewhere. The people were friendlier, and I felt I could better concentrate on my studies. It was at this point where I felt concerned for myself because I wasn't as good as I was back in Elementary School. Classes and assignments were getting harder, and I had more responsibilities asked of me if I had any chance of advancing. These challenges are there to prepare me for the rigors of High School.

The real rough times was in my 8th Grade time in the 1996-1997 school year as I was getting more into fights and doing not very well with my studies. Before going on to the 9th Grade, me and my fellow 8th Graders made it out to a family fun place called FunPlex. It was a chance to unwind and enjoy ourselves before being promoted. It was a fact that I may never see some of my fellow classmates again when going to the 9th Grade. To be brutally honest, my 9th Grade promotion was terrible! It wasn't because we had to sing a version of R. Kelly's "I Believe I Can Fly" with a modified version called "I Believe I Can Try," but it was because the people at my Middle School treated it like going to High School was no big deal. I mean- I'm going to High School! Leaving behind Middle School for High School, and THIS is how we make the transition? FAIL!!!

Secondary School Experiences: High School.

Life was at its most unforgiving when I entered High School. If my Middle School problems weren't bad enough, High School was going to feel like a trip through Hell. This was a time where I experienced everything from being suspended to planning suicide. This was also where I would go to three high schools in one year. In 1999 (as a 10th Grader), I would finish the last three months of the 1998-1999 school year at an alternative school. It was an eye-opener to see what some other High Schoolers experience. That was a bad experience. The remaining two years of my time in High School would be spent at an alternative magnet school. I was an 11th Grader, and I felt like I was getting pounded and bombarded by tough assignments. This was where failing was more prevalent.

In 2001 (the turn of the new millennium and the 21st Century), I barely got to stay at my alternative magnet school because you have to maintain at least an average grade of 75 to remain. In addition, I needed to take some extra classes to help out my GPA to have a better chance of graduating. I failed Art and Government. Therefore, I needed to take classes at Houston Community College [Southeast Campus] to basically have class every day of the week- Friday nights, Saturday morning, and Sunday afternoon. It was the same story by the end of the second semester of the 2000-2001 school year. Later in 2001, I would get to attend the 2001 Texas Scholars Banquet along with my fellow soon-to-be High School Graduates. I cheered on one High School that was my former High School when it was announced.

Before taking the stage to receive my diploma I was told that there was a surprise in store for me. I learned of that surprise on June 2, 2001; I was the Most Improved Student of my class. It was at this point where I felt like I finally proved something to myself and my family. There may have been points where I doubted myself or felt like I could never impress anyone ever again. However, I knew I could do it- I just didn't know how to execute when it mattered most. Life was tough. I felt like the only one I could trust to get through high school was myself. I trusted myself and my abilities. Even though I was 15th out of my 15 Seniors, I was Most Improved Student because I didn't allow to bring myself down so much to where I was incapable of graduating. Even heading into ten years since graduating, the pain and suffering of school (or college) is worth it if you want to graduate.

The one thing I've learned in my High School experience is that you may be overwhelmed with life and school, but you can still do all you need to do in eventually graduating. You never give up or take anything for granted. Do your very best. I NEVER said I was a student that had high grades. This is me- someone who didn't mind the challenge of Math, someone who enjoys writing more than reading, someone who loved Social Sciences, one who couldn't get through lab sciences even if his/her life depended on it... yet still graduated.

I would have posted about getting college degrees, but the most of what I have is an Associate's Degree. I am still technically considered an undergraduate. So I will pass on this. In fact, I've loved blogging and making online videos that I am just following my crafts rather than get a Bachelor's Degree for something I don't think I will truly utilize. These are about the best things I feel I can do in trying to give back to others. These are also the things I am happiest in doing regularly and/or often.

--- Motivation for Graduates or Those Soon to Graduate ---
I don't think of myself as any sort of role model. I actually don't believe in role models. Why pattern your life after someone else? So don't think of me as a role model. However, take my inspiration.

I actually enjoyed being a student back in grade school. I had nothing else going in my life. It wasn't like I was working to help financially support my family or anything. Maybe I do regret doing only the Spelling Bee and not any other after school activities. I never... you know, been to any school sports games or anything like that. Maybe I do regret that I could have done much better for someone who only did a Spelling Bee and not much else outside of schoolwork. I do regret not being able to complete my education at any school that I first attended. And later in my life, I regret that my personal problems got to me so much that led me to planning suicide. TRUE STORY! My life was bad that after doing one story in my English 1 class that I considered suicide after one story concerned suicide. I had to see a psychologist on-campus every Tuesday. It was enough to get me to focus on school and be happier about myself.

My motivation- honor having friends and never be afraid to ask for help. You can be self-sufficient, but you need to build bonds with fellow students as well as teachers. Building bonds with teachers helped me to eventually get to me getting through some future classes in college. It's your fight to get through to graduation, but you don't have to enter this fight alone. I have endured my own disappointments and shortcomings. The end result, however? I graduated. It wasn't flying colors. It wasn't valedictorian-level success. I graduated through effort and unrelenting passion.

Even in my current status, I look back on my life thinking about how I could have done much better while still in my youth. Life is unfair- only one chance at many things in life. It is like being asked about how you would have done better in the past if you had to re-live your life at a certain point in time. Of course, the past is the past, and you can't change it. All you can do is make the future better for yourself and your future by performing well in school in the present. You have to make the most of what you have. Various issues will set the tone to get you to fail. However, you still need to make the most of your abilities, both in learning and in perfecting your skills. Consider the long-term rewards while still in school or college. It will be tough, but nothing is impossible. Do NOT give up!

--- A Quick Salute to My Readers ---
To those of you who read my material and see me as an inspiration, thank you. I don't post anything online if I don't think it has any value to my readers. I don't do random blog posts. Everything I do is with the intent that it will mean something to someone someday. I hope this blog post helps in this department.

--- Pomp and Circumstance (Bonus Section!) ---
Here is one last treat for all of you for reading this blog post. I have found a video where you can listen to the song that serves as the march for graduates, "Pomp and Circumstance." This is "Pomp and Circumstance March" made originally by Sir Edward Elgar. This version below was redone by the London Philharmonic Orchestra:

Congratulations, graduates! :D

Having said all of this, I congratulate everyone graduating, being promoted to another grade or school, and everyone soon to earn their collegiate degrees. Thank you for reading and congratulations (especially if graduating, getting a degree, or being promoted)!

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