Posts Tagged With: graduation


Stewart Holden Matzek graduated with honors from Green Valley High School yesterday. He got dressed at home for a few pictures before leaving for their practice. Mom adjusted his cap and tassel.

Laurie says:  “Stewart is sooo ready for college.”  He will attend University of Nevada Reno as an English major.

The honors students are awarded this metal to wear with their cap and gown, and also an honors rope and hood for advanced and high honors.

Stew’s younger brother,  Mason was dressed to the nines in his tux since he plays for the high school band.  Both boys went ahead of us to the Thomas And Mack Center, a huge auditorium where many graduations are conducted this week. Weather was in the triple digits, typical for Las Vegas, and graduating ceremonies outside are out of the question.

The temperature on the dashboard reads 113 degrees, but Ken claims it isn’t that hot. The temp plate is simply in the direct sun on a black car. It was only 108.

Stewart paraded into the auditorium with the rest  of his class of 647 graduates.

Taking pictures in this immense room is difficult but they have television monitors just like they do for sports events which guarantees every person in the building gets to see the action and spot their own kid or grandson.

I managed to get a shot of brother Mason playing Pomp and Circumstance with the band.

And, one of Stewart singing in the choir in his cap and gown. The words to the song and the kids speeches were scrolled on the teleprompter for all to see.

After the ceremony, the kids were glad to put aside their regalia and into casual clothing for dinner out with the family. We discussed the difficulty of managing a ceremony for such a huge class and the efficiency with which it was accomplished.  The speeches were short and good. Green Valley High School is rated one of the best in the U.S. and graduates 91% of its students.

Then home for dessert and the chance to study that all important diploma.

Stewart opened his gifts and cards. The most important words of wisdom I brought back to share from this event are these:  “Don’t let any one tell you what you CAN’T do. Only you know all you CAN do.”  It was an eighteen year-long  journey and a new one is just  beginning. Stewart, your family is proud of you and very happy. Congratulations.

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High School Graduations are at hand. For some students, high school is a breeze of wonderful friendships and activities. They’ve been in school practically all of their young lives. And now stands before me, this grandson, Alec Dane Pedersen.

We adults send them out into the world with great expectations of success, of preparation for a new and independent life. We hang a lot on them during  this poignant ceremony. Hope is big here for them and us, their parents, grandparents, and friends who know them. And, there is worry, as well. Will they make it?  Will they see the job that puts dollars in their pocket from the local Fish And Grill, or MacDonalds,  will they see it? Will they know that down the line this is forever?  Forever, unless they prepare now for a better life? It’s easy to get caught in the now instead of once again, taking up  more years at the helm of teachers and books.
What I found unique about this ceremony for Alec and his peers was the reading, by the teachers, of a statement each student wrote about what they expected of themselves in the coming years. They chose a quote that from a great scientist, philosopher, artist, inventor, explorer or statesman, and related that advice to their own lives.

Alec is a bright, intelligent young man who is enrolled at Irvine Junior College and expects to get his AA degree and then decide what direction he will take.

Like his father, Alec has personality, charm and wit, and no matter where life takes him, his adventure will be interesting and wonderful.

As a family, we are oh, so proud of you, lad!  And, your young brother Austin adores you and expects to be just like you.  All of our dreams can come true if we but have the courage to pursue them.

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Last year Jim transferred his slides and family photos to digital format by scanning them and saving them on his computer. When we visited his family this year, in August, he gave a slide show of family pictures. Now he is scanning my family photos to my computer so that I can do the same.

I have an original of this photo of my great grandfather and his siblings. The French way is to leave a space for a loved one deceased as you can see in the back row.

About 15 years ago, I took my 35 millimeter camera and zeroed in on individuals in the picture using 400 speed film with a 55 millimeter lens. My equipment was not expensive, professional stuff, but they turned out quite well and scanned well, too. I like the idea of getting a closer view of my ancestors faces.

In 2004, at a family reunion, my cousin allowed me to choose from among her mother’s pictures and had them made for me. They were beautiful black and whites. I hadn’t looked at them in several years and much to my dismay, discovered they were like proofs, beginning to fade and chemically turn purple. I have no idea where she had them done but the paper seems to be quality photo paper. My point is, check your vintage photos. Since digital arrived on the scene, computerized photo reproduction may not be as stable as in the old days.

Some of the snap shots are quite small. Even so, they show up quite well on a full computer screen, and better yet on your television.
When Jim did his family slide show, he hooked his computer to their family television set. Without too much difficulty, most newer television sets will accept a connection. Then the family enjoyed the show together.

Color pictures are also digitally rewarding. There was a time when I would have considered this method of rescuing pictures as inadequate because I envisioned losing them in cyber space. Now, I know different. I can actually edit them in a computer program and enhance the originals, yet your computer saves both the originals and the enhancement. I haven’t done that with any of these family photos, but I have recently learned to do that with my current photos and I like the improvements.
Plus, you can save then to a disc where the pictures do not tear or fade and hand them out to other family members economically. You can print them out from your disc and also give a slide show from the disc inside your computer. Be warned that anything saved on a disc needs to be re-saved in 10 or so years. Disc quality is not yet permanent, although I’ve been told there is an archival quality disc now available.

Saving your old and current photos on computer into separate “albums” allows you to be creative and separate a temporary “show” from a permanent one; to view a specific event like your grand kids soccer game, or a graduation or wedding. You can selectively mix pictures from one event with another event if you choose.  And, my last point is using the digital picture frame. I never thought I’d want to program a limited number of pictures into it and watch them cycle all day over and over again. I was so wrong. I love my digital picture frame and I don’t sit it on the mantel and let it cycle all day. I download my photos on these cheap little flash drives, ($5.), and plug it into the frame. One day I might enjoy the horses and puppies, etc. at Michele Boulets’ rescue ranch. Or another day watch the beautiful glass pieces from the Sandwich glass museum cycle by; or laugh at the Halloween costumes my kids wore when they were little.

I hadn’t dug out my albums in years. Now I’m enjoying my pictures so much more.

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