Chronicles of the farm woman: Eight grade graduation

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Farmers did not have a holiday last Saturday.  The day was perfect and too few perfect days have come along this spring.  Teams and tractors could be seen in every field all day long.  Some member of the family did take time to go to the cemetery.  While there, one felt that the old timers who have passed on to their reward looked down in understanding.   They had experienced the rush of farm work in their day.

Although Monday was equally as fine a day as Saturday it was a holiday to many farm families. You may not have realized it but Monday was the annual rural eighth grade commencement.  Whether it was making hay, cultivating corn, planting soybeans or canning peas, every-thing was laid aside for the exercises.  A casual onlooker may go to a college or high school commencement but no one goes to the eighth grade exercises unless he is especially interested in one of the graduates. The audience is composed always of beaming parents, school teachers, grandparents and neigh-bors.  It is always a receptive audience for the speaker.

Eighth grade boys who unleashed would prob-ably make a stampede for their reserved seats, marched in as dignified as did the K. U. seniors and faculty in the procession in the stadium the night before.  It was a big moment in the lives of each boy and girl when he or she marched across the platform and received that purple diploma from the hands of Gary Wilson.

The eighth grade graduate is not handi-capped as is the high school or college grad.  The former feels that the world is good  and there is an eagerness to find out more about it. Somewhere in the next four years he will suddenly come to believe there is little in this world he doesn’t know.  And if he chances to go on to college he will become self assured that he knows it all, even more than some of his professors.  The world is his rare and especial oyster.  Fortunately the world is waiting for one such as this.  Disillusionment is swift and certain.

The eighth grade boy rides the tractor down the corn rows today.  He is confident and pleased with his first educational triumph, but not over-confident.                   6-5-42

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