It’s nice to finally relax after having two very long and busy days!
Last night was Natalie’s high school graduation; because it was at 7pm on a Thursday night, chaos was guaranteed to ensue. Knowing that there would be over 400 students graduating, my family and I planned to arrive early (note that planned is the key word in the sentence). When 4:30pm rolled around and my parents were still MIA and the graduate herself was still out running errands, it was clear that things would be a bit rushed.
The graduation was being held at such an awkward time, making it difficult to have dinner plans before or after the ceremony. So instead, I made a gourmet meal myself. Well, technically, it wasn’t gourmet at all. But, it was a fancified version of an old standby: the burger.
I eat a very limited amount of red meat, but I have been trying to incorporate more leaner cuts into my diet recently. Using 95% lean ground beef, I made cheese-stuffed hamburgers. I really just tossed a few ingredients into a bowl, but here’s an idea of what I did:
Cheese-Stuffed Burgers (makes 4 burgers)
- 1lb 95% lean ground beef
- 1/4 cup ketchup
- 2 tablespoons worchestire sauce
- salt and pepper to taste
- 4 wedges of light Laughing Cow cheese
1. In large bowl, combine all ingredients, except for the cheese wedges.
2. Form two-ounce patties and set aside.
3. Top four of the patties with a cheese wedge then seal each one with the remaining patties.
4. Cook on each side for about four minutes.
These were really easy to make and were even Brian-approved. I really liked them because they were not greasy or fattening. Overly greasy foods make me physically ill–I learned that the hard way when I was in New York City for New Year’s Eve (that’s a story to be told another time). Let’s just say that I took one look at the burger and almost instantly felt the need to run to the bathroom to avoid doing this in front of a crowd of people.
Once we ate dinner at a time fit for senior citizens, 4:45pm, I made a mad dash to make myself look presentable for Natalie’s graduation. As we were heading out the door, my parents finally arrived. Natalie, her boyfriend, Ali, Brian, and I all piled into the car and headed to the ceremony.
As soon as we saw the huge line of traffic simply entering the parking lot, we were wary that my parents and older sister wouldn’t arrive before they closed the doors. Miraculously, everyone made it in the nick of time. Natalie had no clue where we were sitting, but we somehow sat in the perfect location and she just so happened to look up as she was proceeding down the aisle. Of course we all excitedly waved and yelled her name.
Let’s be frank. It’s no secret that graduations are boring. And long. However, I was actually pleasantly surprised that it lasted a mere 90 minutes. Plus, it was pretty entertaining. Being that I graduated from a very small private Catholic school, I didn’t know what to expect at a large public school’s high school graduation.
The differences were obvious. For starters, my graduation was held on the terrace of my school’s castle (or it would have been, if the nonexistent rain didn’t cause it to be switched indoors to our tiny school gym). In opposition, Natalie’s graduation was held at Towson University’s Towson Center in order to accommodate the large crowd.
The other significant difference was apparent when the graduates received their diplomas. Despite being specifically asked not to applaud or use blow-horns while a student’s name was being called, there was constant
clapping name-hollering. I thought the principal was kidding about the blow-horns, but apparently people really did bring them. I would know because I heard them blasting from behind me. That kind of “excitement” certainly was not tolerated at Maryvale.
The ceremony really became entertaining when a student did a back-flip up on stage when his name was called. Had that happened at my uptight school, the headmistress would have gladly kept the diploma. There was one similarity between the two graduations: both included speeches written by the students.
While I thought that they were all well executed, they could have benefited from a few tweaks. I couldn’t help but laugh during the first speech when the speaker related high school to facial hair. Then there was the valedictorian who used way too many big words. We already know that you are insanely smart; you don’t need to make us feel stupid. I was too busy looking up “tabula rasa” on Dictionary.com on my Blackberry to listen to the rest of the words in her speech that I couldn’t define. (Even though I’m sure you’re aware, tabula rasa means “clean slate.” Or something.)
My eyes are literally closed right now, so I’m off to bed!