Yesterday my baby girl graduated from high school. Next Wednesday is her second graduation, for her Associates Degree! Yes, at her high school, Bard High School Early College, students finish high school in two years and then complete two full years of college during their junior and senior years (called Year 1 and Year 2 at BHSEC).
BHSEC was the best possible high school for my daughter. It is a public school, and very difficult to get into. Every teacher has a PhD, and the teachers are brilliant. They teach the children to think beyond their years, and, as a true intellectual, this environment was perfect for her.
I was teary eyed several times during the ceremony. The Principal, Michael Lerner, is the most warm-hearted and caring Principal in the entire world, and I could honestly fill up pages extolling his virtues. He was funny and motivating during his address, where he mentioned that BHSEC opened its doors on September 11, 2001 (crazy, right?), and stole (but of course carefully footnoted) a line from Andy Samberg’s Yale graduation speech a few weeks ago. He told the children that they are graduating into the hardest times since the Great Depression… we are at war, in a recession, and so on… and I was truly moved, and also upset that my children are growing up under such difficult circumstances.
Many of the Professors spoke, and it was apparent just how dedicated they are to learning, teaching, and making our children better people during their time at BHSEC, and into the future.
Obama called BHSEC his model for all U.S. schools moving forward. Children who can’t afford four years of college can leave there and complete their degree in just two years. My daughter chose to continue with this amazing institution, and will be starting at Bard College this August. I cannot imagine a better place for her to continue her academic studies and growth as a young woman. I am incredibly proud of her as she prepares herself for what I am certain will be a meaningful and fulfilling life, touching many.
And guess what? She helped an elderly woman yesterday who couldn’t get a cab (she had a walker) and even helped her get into the cab. The woman broke down in tears as she struggled to get in, and my girl did not leave her side until she was on her way, safe and sound.
I love you baby. You make me very proud. There is no other daughter in the world that I would choose over you.