|Thus saith Henry...|
Last weekend was Henry's graduation from the 12th grade program at Camphill Special School. (He will be continuing his schooling there for a further three years in the Transition Program so we are not completely through with Camphill yet, thank goodness!) We were told that graduation would have three parts; a class play, a celebratory luncheon, and a graduation ceremony. I somehow did not realize how complex and how long the whole event would be, and I would never have expected that Henry could take quite such a sustained and integral part in it if I had. I am filled with awe and gratitude.
|Anna and Henry display heretofore unsuspected acting talent!|
Hearken unto me...
Then came the massive luncheon in a huge fancy tent, with tablecloths and silverware nice enough for a wedding. Henry waited patiently, eyeing the long buffet groaning with delectable home-made foods. A few speeches and then came the all clear for the meal to commence. It was a joyfull feast!
After an long and intense performance followed by such a huge and resplendent meal, a few hours of rest were in order. Then came the graduation ceremony itself. It was a moving and complex ceremony, one that lasted two and half hours! Henry processed with his class, sat in his chair listening to speeches, stood to participate in various ceremonies, presented his first teacher with a rose, accepted a gift and tribute from his house parents, waited patiently through to the end and then recessed with dignity. Two and half hours. I could almost not believe it was possible. Except that's what my watch (and my numb behind) told me.
|Andreas gave us a full Waldorf Lesson on the history of this graduating class!|
|The handshake and diploma moment|
|Henry's incredibly wonderful Housemother Anna Schmidt reads a poem in his honor|
|The family, proud but a tad limp at the end of a very long day!|
What was especially astonishing to me was how this entire day embodied the Camphill philosophy that these special children be treated with respectful expectations of what they can do. HIGH expectations that is! It is amazing how often people of all kinds will obediently fulfill our ideas of how they will act. I am deeply grateful to Henry's teachers, houseparents, helpers and the entire Camphill community for holding fast to their principles and showing us what is possible.
|Henry sporting his graduation hat...very cool!|
|Henry is going to miss his roommate, who is still a junior. They really were good for each other. Hats off to Camphill!|