Weather, not future, makes Liberty grads sweat Seniors take part in 'symbolic rite'

June 22, 1993|By Mary Gail Hare | Mary Gail Hare,Staff Writer

Chris Krickler estimated the temperature at about "250 degrees" Sunday in the basement of Western Maryland College's Gill Physical Education Center, where 210 Liberty High School seniors waited noisily to march into the gymnasium above.

"This is it -- get in line, everybody," called Florence Oliver, assistant principal.

In the race to his exact place, Chris ripped a snap off his gown.

"Nobody will notice," he said with a laugh. He and his classmates were eager to reach the air-conditioned gym and their diplomas, he said.

"And move away from Carroll County," said Kim Boldt, who will attend Valparaiso (Ind.) University.

While most of the class spends this week in Ocean City, Jill York is moving to Florida.

"I am starting my life and picking a new place to live," she said. "It's exciting."

In his commencement address, Thomas Delise, an English teacher at Liberty, said he understood those sentiments but offered advice.

"I have heard many moan and groan about Eldersburg," he said. "Remember your parents and your family as the only constant in all phases of your life. You will find the strength to deal with life in their love."

As the drums rolled and the trumpets sounded, quiet descended and solemn pairs of boys in blue caps and gowns and girls in gold marched up the center aisle. Parents shouted, "Smile," amid strains of "Pomp and Circumstance."

In introducing the graduates, Robert L. Bastress, Liberty's principal, said 75 percent of the seniors planned to continue their educations, and he congratulated the parents.

"You have worked hard, disciplined, guided and loved your children," he said.

Brandon D. Schreiner and Katrina L. Hill, students who earned a 4.0 grade-point average, addressed their classmates.

"Graduation is more than two seconds in the spotlight," said Brandon. "It's a symbolic rite of passage into the world of college, the military and jobs."

Katrina wished her friends "a wonderful life."

"We will always take part of this class with us," she said. "We can all do something big and important in the way we live our lives every day."

The class chose Mr. Delise to give the commencement address.

"I told you in the beginning when you were freshmen navigating the maze of Liberty High that time would fly," he said.

Mr. Delise said he had difficulty "compressing 12 years of school and hopes for the future" into one brief talk.

"I feel a sense of sorrow seeing you go and miss you already," he said. "The world is waiting for you in all its glory. I hope you all reach that far country of understanding and compassion."

Throughout his brief speech, the teacher inserted quotes from renowned authors, whom he "hoped you kids recognize."

"That was Macbeth, remember?" he said.

Many students laughed softly as he asked whether they wanted to break into groups and discuss a poem he cited.

He urged the students to "live long and prosper" as they become parents, leaders and "all they have resisted" through their high school years.

Katrina promised that she would see everyone again, but maybe not until the five-year reunion. "We might return with different goals, but we'll never be strangers."

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