BY MIKE MARZOLF
Special to the Tribune
Graduation. It happens at several stages in life. The one that garners the most attention is at the high school level. Most people reach this level of achievement. For some it will be their final graduation. For others, another one or more awaits them.
Over the next week or so several graduations will be taking place. Barton celebrates its graduation Friday. Great Bend High is Sunday as is Central Plains. Larned has its Saturday. Hoisington and Ellinwood have already walked.
Other graduation ceremonies take place but have different meaning. For middle school kids, it ceremonious for the time being. They are moving from the top of the food chain to the bottom as they head to high school. Some elementary schools even hold a ceremony as the kids move on to middle school.
The craziest, though, is good ol’ kindergarten graduation. The kids aren’t really sure what is totally going on. But most enjoy it. The main goal for the 5-year old is to make through the day and still have dry pants. Because those photos will last forever and you will never be allowed to forget it.
Anyway, good luck and congratulations to all.
The post season is almost here. Next week most spring sports will enter the final phase of the season – the post season. Track teams will head to regional across the state. Baseball and softball teams will do the same. Girls’ soccer will kick off next week as well.
Golf tees off Monday and tennis regionals are already in the books with the state meet set for this weekend. Swimming for the girls is having state next week.
It is a fast-paced environment this time of the year mixing these events with the end of school stuff. If it your senior season, make the most of it. Take a little time to enjoy it.
Former athlete/coach update
Alonso Edward appeared primed to be one of the top 200m runners in the world not long ago. He won silver at the 2009 World Championships behind only Usain Bolt. He ran a career-best 19.81 in that race. He was 19 years old.
It would be five more years before he was able to get back under 20 seconds. The Panamanian star is again running very well. He has been under 20 seconds each of the past three seasons and is fresh off a 20.06 in Doha in the Diamond League series. He finished second in the race and ran the fourth fastest time in the world this year in the process.
With the Olympics set for later this year, Edward hopes to be peeking, something he was not at the 2012 Olympics in London. If fact, he posted a DQ and still has not officially ran a race in the Olympics. It is his goal this year to not only official run his first Olympic race but to stand on the podium in Rio.
Rain does wonders. The campus is looking terrific for graduation Friday. Recent rains have put a nice green tint and brought life to campus. Should help make for a joyous Friday on the Hill.
It’s just too bad right when the campus is looking its best everyone leaves. The baseball and softball diamonds are similar. Springs rains the Kansas heat get the field looking their best about this time of the year and there are no games to be played. At least college games.
It was 1985. Ronald Reagan was in the middle of his presidency. Madonna had just launched her first road show – the Virgin Tour. Villanova was fresh off an upset of Georgetown for the NCAA basketball title. Nintendo made its United States debut.
That was the year I graduated from Waconda East High School.
Parachute pants and big hair were everywhere. Coaches’ shorts were common. Shoulder padding, dancewear and preppy were in. The swatch watch, yes, the swatch watch was big.
I did the parachute pants and coaches’ shorts but I stayed away from the swatch watch.
El Caminos were still popular. Tina Turner was once again a star and Clue became not just a board game but a movie.
There was the Goonies, Rocky IV, Rambo, and Back to the Future. The Cosby Show ruled TV. Dallas and Dynasty were big. As was Cheers and the Golden Girls.
New Coke made its debut … and exit.
To say it was a slightly different world then would be an understatement.
There was no internet, cell phones, or laptop computers. In fact, computers were mostly something people used at school. They were still emerging in the workplace and very few had one at home.
In ways the world was more simple in the mid 80’s. But now you can garner just about any piece of information in mere seconds.
Actually, things aren’t all that different in many ways. Every generation has their memories and changes they witness.
Family and friends remain the focus of our lives. You just go from the child to the adult.
Life, from the beginning until today, can be as simple or complicated as you make it. Sure there are new obstacles with each generation. But there are also new opportunities with each generation.
So to all the 2016 graduates, make the most of those opportunities and do your best to keep the obstacles as simple as possible.