When 12th graders graduate early in the states, they graduate and are left to their own devices while they rub it in the faces of the underclassmen. At least, that is how I remember it. Here, as always, things work a little differently. There doesn't seem to be a graduation with pomp and circumstance played nonstop as 300 graduates get their certificates. How could there be when the graduating class is is about 60 kids at my school, and much less in other schools across the country. What they have instead is a Last Bell ceremony, which is so unbelievably not a ceremony, but that is how it was explained to me before hand.
There are two 12th grade classes at the 1st school and they spent the Friday of last bell signing each other's white shirts. Some had designed and drawn bells on their shirts, and for some reason Micky Mouse was a big theme on the shirts as well. I was able to get a seat near the front with Nana, one of my co-teachers, which was very useful. She was able to explain to be that this was less a ceremony and more a presentation. Again, not quite the word I would have used, but closer. When it finally began, I saw the 12th graders in the wings, and all the girls had various long tutus of many colors. Then the music started and a whole dance number, the story being “students arriving at school” began. Apparently, Last Bell is the 12th graders giving a performance, singing (lip syncing), and dancing, and poetry. It was great! When it was over, each student said something as a slide show of kiddie pictures were projected behind them.
The second class outdid themselves. Somewhere, they had gotten access to a green screen, and created a whole News Show. The introductions and time between numbers were cuts to the anchors and reporters, which was all projected onto the back wall. The first two numbers were Georgian Folk Dances, and were very neat. Then they traveled to Bollywood and performed some sort of Arabian/Indian/who knows what else dance that was funny. Next they went to Spain (the reporter was reporting from a Bull Fight) but they did the Argentine Tango (it was the music, not words of the Tango Roxanne from Moulin Rouge). Well, I have no room to talk, because the next place they went was obviously America. There were some skyscrapers and Ocean and I spent a good couple seconds trying to figure out where in the New York skyline this was, because for most places outside the US, New York is the capital. I was still trying to figure it out when the scene behind the reporter changed and she was standing in front of a VERY familiar building that said “Quincy Market”! I started flipping out telling my co-teacher “That's Boston! That's Boston!” They then showed Ducks and Boston Common. I still don't know if they were setting me up to see some scenes of home, or if that was just the footage they could find, but either way, it felt good! Following the reporter, they did a rap in Georgian, and then did a very cute motorcycle (in the form of a bicycle) across the stage to begin a jive number. Ahh, America.
The whole time, I was wondering what would have happened at my high school, if, instead of the teachers doing the holiday performance that honors the seniors (with the 5 golden rings), the seniors did the performance. For one thing, it would have taken a whole lot longer than an hour and a half like the two classes were, and for another, no class would do it! Every single kid in both classes sang or danced or recited and every kid had their turn at the mic, and not a single one was too shy or embarrassed to do it.