Friday, May 27, 2011

The last bell

Just about every culture has its own way of celebrating or acknowledging the first and/or last day of the school year. For Americans, a significant portion of the last day often consists of kids running around getting their yearbooks signed by their friends. In Ukraine, there is a very unique way of celebrating both ends of the year: "The first bell" and "The last bell."

11th-graders have not only their last bell at the end of May, but their graduation on the same day. They dress very elegantly, the girls very colorfully, making for a really beautiful ceremony.

Yesterday was the last bell at our school for the 1st- through 7th-graders, and today was the last bell for the older grades, up to the graduating class. Both were exciting and fun for everybody there.

Some students who did well in various subjects received certificates, and the school administration made several speeches congratulating everyone on finishing the year. There were also a few singing performances by some students.

The bell, wrapped in a white ribbon, was symbolically rung one last time toward the end of the ceremony.

During today's ceremony, the graduating class danced a waltz, which is an annual tradition for the 11th-grade class.

All of the students came to the ceremony with a flower or a bouquet of flowers. At the end of the ceremony, all of the teachers had a lot of flowers as gifts from their students. So amazing!

My apartment looks very nice now.

Here are some more photos from today's last bell:


One of the professional photographers :)

Balloons are a metaphor for childhood, so at the end of the last bell celebration, the 11th-graders let them go.

The above photo is of the 11B class, the group that I had the pleasure of working with (English, country studies, and American literature classes.) They are outstanding students and overall amazing human beings, and I feel very lucky to have gotten to know them.

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