We spent all day in Oklahoma City (Norman actually) Saturday and it was pretty tiring.  But they gave Erin a check for $1000 so there’s that.

I’ve forgotten now how Erin got selected for academic all-state but it was obviously because of the scholarship that she was interested.  They choose 100 students from all over the state and she was one of three from her school.  On Saturday they had the big banquet at the Embassy Suites in Norman where they were recognized, the checks were handed out, and we got to hear mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York City.  It was a pretty interesting day but pretty long.

Erin had graduated on Thursday and spent all night afterwards at the party at the school and so had only woken up on Friday evening.  So the trip to OKC seemed to her to come pretty quickly after graduation although I had a day of work in there.  We headed off in the late morning and dropped her off at the conference center and then we had four hours to kill.  Apparently she and the other students were spoken to by David Boren (former politician and now head of the University of Oklahoma system) and rehearsed what was to happen during the banquet.  It surprised me that they had to practice it that much but apparently there was very little down time. 

For our part, Mel had researched the fact that there was a discount movie theater within one mile so we went there and saw “Limitless”.  It was a decent movie but we chose it based upon the fact that it was the only non-animated children’s movie in the theater.  Evan was with us since he had been home for the graduation.  We then spent awhile at a Gelato place in the same shopping center.  We then headed back to the Embassy Suites to change into our good clothes that we had brought along with us.

It was at that point that I discovered that I had forgotten my tie.  I have an annoying tendency to forget one thing every time I go somewhere.  When I was working on my orrery I once forgot to bring along my wood when heading to my friend’s workshop.  Once for a wedding trip, I forgot my belt.  And this time, I forgot to bring along a tie.  Evan pointed out that there was a Kohl’s right across the street so I headed there.  We had lots of time so I wasn’t in a terrible hurry but was annoyed and hot (since the weather had suddenly become summer-like).  They weren’t terribly well stocked with neckties so perhaps I was not the first to come rushing over from the conference center to replace forgotten accessories.  Indeed, as I checked out, the girl offered the fact that they got people from over there all the time.  So I’m in good company; good, forgetful company.  Annoying.

Erin was in one her moods where she seemed uncomfortable with us and was answering all questions with monosyllabic answers.  Perhaps she was uncomfortable being around every smart kid in Oklahoma or perhaps it was the usual thing of being embarrassed by being with her family in public but we were certainly not as nerdy as some.  So it was a bit tense for awhile until the doors opened but she had Evan to talk to.

Erin had been required to invite her favorite teacher along and so we found her at the table with us.  This is one of those teachers who gets invited to this every year because she’s everybody’s favorite.  Now that school is done (although Erin has to go for another three days) they could talk as more or less equals instead of student-to-teacher and they seemed to chat all evening long.  Like all such things, we could only make ourselves heard to the person sitting next to us so I couldn’t tell what they were talking about.  The banquet was long but enjoyable.  Even though it was long, it wasn’t boring and could not have been made any shorter.  The mayor was an excellent speaker and so the evening passed quickly.  We got out of there around 9:30 and headed home.  If we had been any further away, we would have sought out a hotel for the night but we were only two hours away so we drove back.  Evan volunteered to drive and is a night owl anyway so it was no big deal for him.  I rode shotgun and navigated.  Mel napped and Erin curled up and complained that it was too cold.  This is our life: I’m generally hot while she is simultaneously cold. 

Evan got up and drove back to Fayetteville Sunday morning while the rest of us tried to recover from the last few days.  We were all dog tired and spent the day in front of the TV and/or napping.  The weather boiled up into the severe category in the afternoon and ended up destroying a lot of Joplin to the east but we were mostly unaware of it.

So apart from three more days of school (which is a mere technicality – no senior will actually do anything) Erin is now done with high school.  She actually starts work at the city pool this afternoon (cleaning up and getting ready for the big opening on Memorial Day weekend). 

So the page has turned and that chapter is over for all of us.  We’ll see what comes in the next chapter.

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