May 26th was Graduation Day! While Benjamin will continue as a “super-senior” in high school for three more semesters (completing further academic classwork rather than entering a “transitions” program), the graduation ceremony marked the end of the best senior year anyone could have wished for. Thinking back, I wish my own senior year (in the 1980’s) could have been filled with such joy in being with friends and participating in school social activities… I’m proud of Benjamin for being such an involved young man! Here is Benjamin’s account of the weeks leading up to graduation:
from Benjamin: In mid-May, we had our final choir concerts and it was very emotional—lots of seniors in tears because they’ll miss singing with all their friends and having intense musical experiences together. On one of the evenings, I sang “Pure Imagination,” first as a solo and then joined by friends; the song expresses how I see things: “Come with me, and you’ll be, / In a world of pure imagination… / If you want to view paradise, simply look around and view it, / Anything you want to, do it, / If you want to change the world, there’s nothing to it…” My mom says it’s a real “Benjamin Song”—kind of like “This Little Light of Mine,” which I sing at the end of my autism presentations.
As always, I also participated in “mass choir” where kids from all nine choirs get together for three songs. We spread out around the auditorium, surrounding the audience with beautiful sound, and the energy is so phenomenal. Then, after two nights of concerts, there was the choir banquet where my a capella quartet was again chosen to perform. Getting together with friends to rehearse is always challenging—everyone’s so busy—but it’s the best, making music together. I’m glad to become a super-senior so I can keep singing in Festival Choir and putting together solo acts.
The next week, at the annual “Knight of Excellence” awards ceremony, I was part of a group honored as “The Spirit of Fairview.” The school’s principal chooses students who receive this award; he calls us “the unsung heroes…who make Fairview a better place.” I’ve loved contributing at school, and several of my choir friends were part of this “spirit” group—I felt right at home. The next day, all of us seniors went to Elitch’s Amusement park—it was my first time ever on these kinds of rides. WOW! Scary fun! I also got to share my interview with the Royal Banner (Fairview’s student newspaper) which had come out in the morning. http://www.fhsroyalbanner.com/?s=benjamin+tarasewicz&submit=Search
Then it was time for the 2014 Graduation at a big events center—I once went to the circus there! It was so cool—we looked like an enormous flock of cardinals – all those red robes… I really liked the wise advice given by the speakers, especially about “daring to risk failing,” and my favorite part was when we all tossed up our caps and they rained down on us. My senior year was the best ever!