15, May 2008 23:15
Students love this time of year. Mainly because they’ll soon be out of school for the summer. But there are some students who find this season especially meaningful. They’ve finished all the required classes. They’ve studied many long hours. They’ve served their time. These special students aren’t just getting out of school for the summer— they’re graduating.
graduation (n) 畢業
serve one’s time (v phr) 工作或學習期滿
In America, even kindergartens and elementary schools have graduation ceremonies. But high school graduation represents the most significant step in most people’s educational career. And part of the process of preparing to graduate is deciding what to do next. Some high school graduates may decide to get a job and earn money instead of going on for further study right away.
ceremony (n) 儀式；典禮
For many others, the next step goes without saying attending college or university. High school students often investigate a number of colleges with programs that appeal to them. During their senior year, students may apply to one or more colleges. They usually have to take entrance exams as part of the process. By the time they graduate, most students have a good idea of where they’re headed.
go without saying (v phr) 自不待言
investigate (v) 研究；調查
As the graduation date approaches, American students have a lot of details to take care of. Some have term papers, homework assignments and final exams hanging over their heads. They’re just hoping and praying they’ll do well enough to get their diploma. Many are busy sending out graduation invitations to all their friends and relatives. They hope that the people they invite will come to the graduation—or at least send them some money.
term paper (n phr) 學期報告
hang over one’s head (v phr) 面臨危險或威脅
diploma (n) 畢業證書；文憑
Graduating seniors also store up memories by signing each other's yearbooks and attending graduation parties. All in all, graduation is a time of mixed emotions: Students look forward to getting out of school, but they know they’ll miss their friends.
yearbook (n) 年鑑
Finally graduation time arrives. The music of Elgar’s “Pomp and Circumstance” played by the school band fills the air. The graduates and their teachers begin marching in, all dressed in caps and gowns. During the ceremony, the top graduating students give speeches to their class. The guest speaker, a respected community leader, also gives a challenge to the graduates.