I had very mixed emotions last week.
As I was working on the graduation section for this week’s edition, I made numerous calls to local schools, as well as contact via e-mail. I was seeking photos of graduates, as well as information on any scholarships the students had received.
Some schools were incredibly accommodating. Some were not. It was really frustrating.
But despite the frustration, the worst of it all came the day of East Gadsden High School’s graduation.
You see, I called the schools a month (maybe a little more) prior to graduation time, and asked for dates and times of graduations.We were planning our coverage, and needed to have that information to do so. The information was not posted on the schools’ Web sites at that time. All of the provided dates and times for the commencements were correct, save one.
So I showed up at East Gadsden an hour before the time I had been told graduation would begin, ready to take tons of photos and then write a killer story on the commencement ceremony.
But as I drove my car onto campus, I was met with a locked gate.I pulled over, checked my calendar again, and found that, yep, I had typed in 7 p.m. on that date for EGHS’ graduation.
It was then that I noticed the marquis. It was scrolling that graduation had been held that morning at 9 a.m.
My heart sank to my stomach as I realized I had missed it. I felt terrible for the kids and for their families. I felt I’d let our community and the school down. I was literally sick about it.
Then I got mad. I had called and asked for the date and time. I didn’t get the person’s name who gave me that information, but I assumed – obviously wrongfully – that I could trust what I was told. I didn’t go back and look at the school’s Web site because I’d called the school...and people at the school would know, right?
Wrong. Really wrong. By about 10 hours.
So to the graduates of East Gadsden High School, the faculty and administration, I offer my sincerest apology. You deserved better. And I let you down.
The next time someone gives me a date and time, no matter who that person is, I’m verifying it at least three times with three different sources.
Humble pie isn’t my favorite dessert.