There is something fitting about the Mare Island Technology Academy (MIT) class of 2021 hosting their graduation ceremony “virtually” via the YouTube stream this week.
But as we all know, it wasn’t a nod to high tech; it was the result of the pandemic. The students gathered at 2 Positive Place in Vallejo to celebrate with each other and catch their ‘sheepskins’, but everyone cheered them on via their smartphones or laptops, filling the comment sections with emojis. of celebration, wishes and thanks to their loved ones.
MIT Director Dr Byron Laird is set to take home the ‘Most Enthusiastic’ award as he takes the microphone to moderate the debates, a ceremony he ‘masters’ as if he were witness to the wedding of a best friend… minus the playful ribs. He was proud of the graduates, who he said didn’t let the pandemic stop them.
“You have the opportunity to learn that life doesn’t depend on the shoes you wear or the number of likes you have,” Laird said. It’s about cherishing every moment and being grateful for what you have.
The national anthem was sung by Arabella Oakes, who, if she had nerves, didn’t really show it.
Salvationian Kaitlin Madriaga compared the last year to roller coasters, although she joked that she hates them and hopes it’s the only one she ever gets to ride. She said she looked forward to loops and slow-motion turns, with no more “twists” on the horizon.
“It wasn’t always fun, and we held on for life,” she said, adding that they stood on the security bars and survived.
Validator Daniela Chavez walked the podium confidently and joked that she was about to see if that public speaking class she took would pay off.
“Remember not to let anyone shut you up,” she said. “When you have a voice, you have the power.”
Chavez praised the teachers and professors who went “above and beyond”. Then she gave words of wisdom to her classmates:
“You can cut down a tree, but its roots will stay in the ground. MIT is now part of our roots.
A good thing about a YouTube ceremony is that the IT department has pasted business cards for each graduate, along with quotes they like and even the school they plan to attend next year. Schools like UC Davis, San Francisco State, Cal Poly and local community colleges paraded on the screen, along with quotes from Bob Dylan, Carl Jung and singer Nicki Minaj.
Board chair Debbie Lamb summed up the feelings staff had for graduates:
“I am amazed again. You are so much better than all the adults here. We know it, we hope you know it, and we love you in pieces.