“Listen to the mustn’ts, child. Listen to the don’ts. Listen to the shouldn’ts, the impossibles, the won’ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me… Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.”
― Shel Silverstein
We’ve been talking a great deal about all the ways that Inly is unapologetically untraditional this year in honor of our 40th Anniversary. I believe our graduation tradition is an excellent example of this.
At Inly, our objective is to give all our students wings—wings to grow and change and ultimately take flight. The Flying Up ceremony is a long-standing Inly tradition that celebrates a student’s transition from level to level. It is a lovely ceremony in which the older students escort the younger students (the very youngest wear butterfly wings) to join them in the next level.
Additionally, we have Flying Start ceremony, which celebrates the students who are leaving Inly School at various levels for other schools. It is our way to show those departing that they will always be in our hearts and minds and a part of the Inly family.
Lastly, we have Inly’s Falling Up Graduation ceremony, inspired by the poem by Shel Silverstein, which is about moving forward by falling. At Inly, we feel that this poem is the perfect metaphor for growing up. So often, growing up and learning isn’t a perfect process—there are bumps along the way and we all stumble now and again. And yet, success and some of our greatest life lessons come out of these challenges.
Like the metaphor of structure that leads to freedom, our traditions work similarly. In many ways, we have “untraditions” rather than traditional traditions because our celebrations are marked in a very unique way. Unlike other graduation ceremonies, which typically only highlight a few students, all Inly graduates are expected to deliver a speech and are celebrated for their achievements. The speeches are a wonderful opportunity for every graduate to give pause on this momentous occasion and reflect on what they have learned thus far and to look toward their futures, which are undoubtedly bright.
To read more about Inly’s graduation traditions, please click here.