For Our Worcester High School Grads

By Rosalie Tirella

Last week I ate my lunch outside my ol’ alma mater – Burncoat Senior High♥️ (class of ’79♥️).
♥️ pics:R.T.

In the my school’s parking lot, facial mask down, cheese and tomato sandwich in … I felt safe, proud of my high school, and I felt the emptiness. … No classes, no arts, no sports … no final few fun high school days, no autographing of yearbooks, no graduation parties, no graduation. All those high school rituals that I shyly loved and lived as a 17 year old Green Islander – fun and kid-generated – serious and adult-run – gone. …

The kids have lost out. The kids have won. Yes, they may feel the lack of closure, the one door closing but one door opening feeling you get when your life changes in a HUGE way. For the grads: college, work, the military, Ameri-Corps … Sorta kinda not there. Not yet. … What to do, how to think about this nebulous state of being WHEN YOU ARE YOUNG AND FULL OF LIFE, LOVE, HOPE, ENERGY, CURIOSITY!!!

Rose’s BHS yearbook♥️

A photo from Rose’s Burncoat yearbook: Rose, left, and her great pal! Whom Rose never forgot!

Parents and grads: Create your own Gap Year. Like they do/have done for years in Europe! Grads, look at this next year as a year to explore: music, poetry, nature, classic novels …

☀️Get your parents to buy you a guitar or banjo – and start strumming away! See if you have talent …

☀️Listen to ALL THAT GREAT BABY BOOMER music that was created in the crucible of war, partisan divisiveness, political chaos, nature, death, life, AMERICAN CHAOS – sorta the way our country feels today.

☀️Become a long-distance runner. I began to run after I quit college for a year. Yeah, I was no Bill Rogers, but I felt healthier, more in touch with my neighborhood, outdoors …

☀️Read stuff your teachers and grownups aren’t pushing on you: goofy romance novels, comic books, magazines, GREAT CLASSICS that you didn’t quite read in 11th grade English class at Burncoat. Try short stories. Need ideas? Email me … and we will talk writers and writing!!

📚Go to an art shop or Target and buy poster paper, drawing pads, pastels, water colors … and start creating.

☀️Adopt or foster a dog or cat. Become best pals! (My late mom pictured here with her beloved, Doby, Bridgette♥️):

☀️These covid days melt into new covid days. Time is malleable…pliable…dreamy. Make your own dreamscape. Maybe these days are anathema to Chromebook-style assignments – or even checking in with teachers every day. Maybe this pandemic is this young generation’s polio pandemic or the days beneath the bombs and fighter planes of World War II: time for kids to be free, experience the scary/beautiful world – to find themselves.