Guest blogger Lee Zamastil
June 13, 2014
Walden School Parent Lee Zamastil (parent of Caden ’16) wrote this blog post after attending Graduation on June 12, 2014.
There was a television show that ran its final 2 1/2-hour episode when I was 11 years old. This was M*A*S*H. I only occasionally watched the program as a kid but the buildup to its final broadcast was enormous and I could not resist. If you have ever seen this finale—and, perhaps, especially if you saw it in the 1980s with the rest of us—you know what a powerful night of television it was.
When the show was finished I told my family that I was sad that the characters were gone. The program’s ending was a parting between two men who shared a deep friendship. It was an emotional end. My older sister reminded me that I’d hardly ever watched the show. How could I miss it?
And why am I thinking of this old show today? Because today I saw kids the same age I was in ’83 graduate from Walden. Mostly these were children who I really don’t know. My son is grades younger and it’s his class that I know most well. And like M*A*S*H once I saw the finale, once I saw the best of what this class of 2014 has to offer, I was hugely moved. I thought “Wait! That’s it? Now I want more.”
I was happy I’d seen it. I also couldn’t help but feel I had missed out—missed out on knowing some wonderful people who were now moving on. I didn’t expect this. I expected to see twenty of Walden’s kids each give a speech and collect their Walden diploma. What I saw was a presentation of friendship, love, gratitude, intelligence and caring. Community is an often referenced concept at Walden. At times one wonders if it’s truly as pervasive as advertised. Other times you do truly feel the bond. Today I was reminded, by the children of Walden, that the essentials that build our community are always there. They are right there in front of you. You just have to watch for it.
Best wishes to the Walden Class of 2014!