Yesterday was graduation.
We dined on champagne, pizza and the famous Air North cookies, enjoyed a photo montage, and the shortest speeches ever by two of our instructors, Wini and Michael. I'm not complaining. I was a wedding photographer for seven year. I lOVE short speeches. And it was really cute to see them all nervous in front of us for a change.
We got to hand out our gift baskets we'd all contributed to. They seemed genuinely pleased. As Wini said, "If you are trying to bribe us to be our best class ever, you succeeded. But really, you didn't have to bribe us."
Then we proceeded to get our diplomas and flight bags, one by one, to traditional graduation music.
As people started drifting out, Susan to prepare for her line indoctrination, Jazmine to host bingo, everyone to their normal lives, it was bitter sweet. I'm proud we all made it through but I'm going to miss these guys. I've spent almost every day of the last month with them and now it may be months before we work together.
I'm going to miss Angelica's joy and humour, Sonic Sonja's incredible laugh and spirit and Eric's good nature and mystery. There's the strength and confidence of Jessica, the openness, vulnerability and sweetness of Jazmine, Susan's aura of cheerfulness and generosity and Erin's creativity and steadiness.
If you're reading this while simultaneously making gagging noises, I completely understand. I too, am compelled to imaginary fits of vomiting by excessive displays of gushing compliments. These comments, however, are quite true, and thus not vomit-worthy.
And then our instructors, two of which I now know read this. So I have to be nice. Just kidding! Well, yes they do read it, but I don't have to be nice. Let's see... They all have one thing in common, they all expect excellence, but they all have a good heart and a lot of empathy. I wouldn't have a bad thing to say about any of them, even if I was so inclined. In fact, I secretly want to be like them. Well, I guess not so secretly now.
I hope we will all stay in touch and hang out. I'd hate to meet all these great people and then drift apart. I'll probably be guilty of it myself, with a family, photography and other pulls in my life. Then again, I met my maid of honour, Clare, and my husband, Richard, in a similar situation on my first cruise ship, and we're still tight!