Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

A Minnesota high school graduation in snapshots June 4, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 9:42 AM
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Faribault High School graduates enter the gym for commencement Sunday afternoon as family and friends look on.

ALL ACROSS THE U.S., high school students are graduating or have graduated. Families and friends pack bleachers to witness commencement ceremonies, to listen to talk of the past and of the future.

It is a bittersweet time for parents.

For students, the day is one of of mixed emotions. Happiness. Sadness. Excitement. Perhaps a bit of trepidation about life ahead.

On Sunday afternoon, the youngest of my three children, my son, graduated from Faribault High School. I didn’t cry, didn’t get all emotional and introspective. I expect the tears will come later, when we drop him off at his North Dakota State University dorm nearly a five-hour drive away.

In the meantime, in these final two months, I will embrace each day I still have my boy home. For I know that not only will his life change, but so will mine.

The seven valedictorians, with GPAs of 4.0, speak at the graduation ceremony.

The class of 247 students toss their caps after diplomas are awarded.

My eldest daughter checks to see if her little brother’s diploma is signed.

The typical pose in front of the school photo, of my son.

The ever-changing/growing diversity of Faribault as seen in this post commencement gathering outside the school.

My family in our backyard after commencement.

Copyright 2012 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


9 Responses to “A Minnesota high school graduation in snapshots”

  1. Beth Ann Says:

    Love this!!! Such a great picture of the whole family and what memories were made that day! Good on ya for not crying!!! I was a wreck all summer each time my boys graduated anticipating the college move. Still get teary when I think of it and how proud I am of them. It is such a good thing to watch your children grow up, isn’t it??? Your job has been well done—I can tell!!! Enjoy your summer!

  2. Jackie Says:

    Love the photo of your family! Where did your boy get the “tall genes”?

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      My side of the family possesses “tall genes.” I am 5 foot 8 1/2 inches tall. Yes, taller than my husband.

  3. Hotly Spiced Says:

    Congratulations to your son. You must be so proud. I love how they all dress up in caps and gowns. That just doesn’t happen here, only when you graduate from college. That is such a big year group. There are only 150 in Arabella’s year (but then it’s girls only). I had no idea there were so many Muslims in Minnesota. When I first saw the photo I thought they must have been part of a tour group. And your son seems extremely tall. Is he about 6″5?

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      High school graduation ceremonies here are a rather formal event. Most families celebrate the occasion with open houses for family and friends.

      We have quite a diversity of people in Faribault, drawn here primarily by jobs in places like the turkey processing plant and the canning company. As the second-generation children of these immigrants become more educated and integrated, I anticipate they will move into other sectors of employment also.

      I don’t know exactly how tall my son is, but I think right about 6’3.

  4. Bernie Says:

    Congratulations!! You will be an empty nester….from experience, not so fun…but after a year of it, it does get better. So glad to have mine home for the summer, but I can tell she will be ready to be on her own again. Have a great summer!

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      Yes, I think it may be difficult leaving my youngest at college. But, like you said, I’ll get used to it. Enjoy your summer with your daughter and I will enjoy these last two months with my son at home.

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