There has been a ton of drama with the grade 12 girls at our school surrounding the graduation ceremony. There are two cohorts of girls, the Academic strand and the Science strand. Basically, the Science strand students have high marks in their Math and Science classes, and are tracked toward careers in those areas. They are also led to believe that they are better and more capable students (though this is a topic for a different post). Anyway, the two groups of girls often disagree about things related to school, and they really disagreed about graduation.
The disagreement was so strong that the Academic students planned their own outside-of-school graduation ceremony. I did not attend that party, but I did attend the ceremony for the Science students today at school. Let me tell you, it was an experience.
In order to get the ambience of the ceremony I’ll need to paint you a picture (since photographs weren’t really allowed). The gym was transformed into what can only be described as a white, gold and red wedding motif. Complete with colored strobe lights, bubble and fog machines. The tables and chairs were covered with nice white linens and the runway-like stage was draped in red Arabian-style carpets.
The students were in their best formal wear. From mile-high platform heels to airbrushed make-up. I saw a few wedding dresses among the mixture of other very formal gowns. The girls walked (precariously in their new heels) out of the back and down the “runway” straight into their seats. After the girls did their promenade we heard the National Anthem and then a Qur’an verse sung by a graduate. There was a performance by some elementary school girls (singing and dancing). And videos of the girls as babies and during the last few weeks of classes. The students also read letters to their teachers and to their mothers (no men allowed, so they girls could show off their fancy clothes).
While the singing, dancing and other activities were going on, the maids were passing out all types of food to the teachers and some of the guests. Traditional Emirati foods, chocolates, tea and coffee. It was truly an experience.