Thursday, June 30, 2011
Graduation was on Tuesday evening June 14th. We went that morning to the hotel MS Garden and rehearsed almost all day. We had to rehearse the International Parade where each student got up said good evening or hello in their native language, introduced their name, age, what grade, what country they were from and what cultural costume they were wearing. Then we had to practice the musical selections. We had a Mandarin Chinese, Malay, ESL, and Music class. They had to stand on a tiny stage so we had to rearrange them so that all the parents could see them. We had to make sure the microphones worked and we could hear the students, etc. Then we ran through each student coming up on stage to get an award. We don't give all the awards out then because the school has gotten so large it would take a long time. Plus, that night we do it in order of awards and not names so it takes longer since students go back and forth multiple times. After that the own of the school came and we ran it through for him so that he could give us approval for how we were going to do it that night. Then we had to wait for the diver to get the food from McDonald's and take it to school, come and get the owner and take him to school, and then come back with the bus and that takes two trips because we are too many now to fit everyone on the the bus. We got back to school after 2p.m. and had lunch. We met briefly with our house groups for the house games the following two days to figure out who was going to do what. Then we got done at 3:00. I was going to go home and take a nap, but I didn’t. I had bought some silk batik material at Christmas time to make the Malay cultural dress baju kurung. For various reasons it did not get done. My Mom sent me one of my dresses from back home, but I decided that day once I saw the set up in the hotel’s ballroom that was not going to work. The teachers had to sit up on a stage in front of everyone with our legs at their eye level and since the Muslims have to be very covered I did not want anyone to be offended by my bare legs from the knees down. One of my co-workers took me to this shop and we found one that fit me and looked very nice, so I went ahead and bought that. Then I went back to get ready for graduation. Graduation wasn’t until after 8p.m. because we had to wait until after the last Muslim prayers of the day. The first thing was a slide show of the 6 seniors that were graduating and some of the highlights for the year. One of our seniors put it together. He had pictures of each of the 6 graduates and then had them give a message to the school. I thought it was very well done. During the rehearsal it had been very fast, but he had done some editing to slow it down, make it so it wasn't so dark, and added some more pictures. Then the teachers and honored guests went up on stage. ( I hate being in front of people and I didn't like that I had to sit on stage. I also felt it took away from the students which is who we are really there for, but I survived. I did not embarrass myself on stage, but I did suffer for it later.) After that the students did their International Parade where they introduced themselves, where they were from and what cultural costume they were wearing. We had four musical selections from the Chinese class, ESL class, Malay class, and high school music class. Then, PTA president as the guest speaker did her speech and the Owner of the School did his speech. After that we gave out just the Excellence Awards for academics and activities, and diplomas. They used to do all awards at graduation but with the growth of the school it would have taken too long. After that we had a photo session and then dinner. The food was pretty good. I had been one of the people invited to the taste test, so I knew what the food was going to be.
Our first course: BBQ Chicken salad with iceberg lettuce and spinach and cocktail sauce.
Our second course: Creamy Cappucino mushroom soup with garlic bread ( sounds gross but it was delicious)
Our Main course choices: Alabama sirloin steak served with crunchy asparagus with baked potato; grilled chicken roulade with crunchy asparagus with baked potato; Garoupa steak (fish) placed on crabmeat hollandaise, green broccoli, cauliflower, capers butter sauce. I got to taste test all of them and thought they were all excellent. At the dinner I had the steak which I thought was bland and chewy, but that may have been since they had to cook for some many people.
Our dessert: chocolate cream cake with fresh kiwi and strawberry served with coffee or tea. At the taste test they had some weird thing that was not a cake and was slimy and I actually didn't care for it but everyone else liked it. At graduation they had a cake and I think it was what it was actually supposed to be. It was very, very good.
During that time I went around and took more pictures of everyone. So, I didn’t get back to my room until almost midnight (it would have been like 2 or 3 a.m. if we had done all the awards).