Even though my kid is a Junior and not graduating until next year, I joined most of the Monadnock Waldorf High School parents and friends in attending this year's graduation ceremony. Now as a college professor I have attended (not always willingly) more graduation ceremonies than I care to reveal. But never have I been so moved and amazed as today, watching the first ever class of graduates from the relatively new (4 year old) MWHS.
Some of the highlights:
1. Each student walked to the stage to the tune of their own chosen music and carrying their own chosen bouquet (one carried a carrot)
2. Together they sang the same song (Circle Game) they had sung at the end of eighth grade.
3. Several students gave speeches that focused on the school (they pioneered) and the world, rather than just themselves
4. They spoke of the importance of learning and giving to the world
5. A Tibetan Monk delivered the benediction and draped peace shawls on each student
6. The graduation speaker William Edelglass, Ph.D. (Professor Marlboro College) gave a speech on mindfulness, education, and liberty that had the audience hinging on every word
7. Lots of joking, laughing
8. Endless tributes to each and every teacher
9. More music
10. Class recitation (no notes) of a Lakota Indian prayer/chant (which they learned on a recent service trip to the reservation)
11. Great Food (including a gluten-free chocolate cake).
Today one of the students in my MOOC asked me about the difference between online and face-to-face education and I just had to tell her about today's Waldorf graduation. Active engagement, intellectual curiousity, caring about the world, and, as Dr. Edleglass said today, "walking the walk."
Put that in a bottle and I'll buy it.