Sunday, April 25, 2010

Commencement Ceremony - June 2008

Rashid Cunningham is 18, Elmer Valdes is 18, and Erline Valdes is 18.  (S'Ahmisa Warwick is visiting from Apple Valley.)

**Marchon Cunningham, Valedictorian of The Class of 2008, is 17 and currently attending the University of Riverdale.  He elected to graduate high school early.**

It was a gorgeous Saturday morning!  The birds graced the surroundings with their melodious songs.  The rays of sun warmed the souls of everyone and brightened the day with more sunshine.  

As the guests filed into the quaint auditorium, ushers passed out programs at the door.

It was certainly a day of celebration!  Mostly everyone was excited and joyous to see this group of teenagers graduate from high school and embark on the next phase of their lives...

....that is, everyone except Tyisha Masters, who wished she could be any place else but here.

"It's freakin' hot in here, Daddy!"  14 year old Tyisha quibbled; fanning herself rapidly as if she were having hot flashes.
Cameron made a split decision not to respond.  He knew full well that this was not the place for a showdown.  And that's exactly what Tyisha was baiting him for.  In fact, the auditorium was pleasantly cool under the central air conditioning. 

Cameron could not miss today's event for anything in the world so he dragged Tyisha there with him, despite her complaints.  She needs to learn some respect....two of his closest friends in the world, Sabien Cunningham, Sr. and Edward Valdes, his former upstairs neighbor at Cedar Two Flat Apts., are seeing their children graduate today.  It's a huge milestone in not only a child's life, but the parent's life as well...and he wanted to share this joy with them!

The microphone whistled and thumped as Mayor Cunningham took to the podium.

"I would like to thank everyone for coming.  I'd also like to thank our esteemed panel on the stage. Mrs. Emerita Valdes, Superintendent of The Board of Education, and Mrs. Maxine Wise, Education Director.  Steve VanHouten is here as well, please stand, Steve.  Everyone give him some applause, he's the kids' high school teacher, and we certainly appreciate all that he has done to get these kids prepared for college.

It's great to look around this audience and see loved ones, and those that have shared in the upbringing of our kids.  It seems like yesterday these kids were toddling around on the floor, learning how to use the potty."  Sabien chuckled at the podium and laughter filled the hall. 

"But, look at them now!  They are ready to make that leap into the future.  Hopefully, we as parents, have filled them with all the tools they'll need to succeed out there in the world.  Hopefully, we have taught them the tools of survival.  Let's all join together in celebrating this rite of passage by giving these kids a round of applause." 

"Cheers! To the Class of 2008!!"  Sabien exclaimed loudly into the mic, before he took his seat.

The crowd burst into applause.

Jacques Wise made his way up to the stage to play the traditional ceremonial song that most of us have proudly marched to, at some point in our lives. 

*Pomp and Circumstance - please copy/paste link in another window for the best effect.*

The applause grew louder as the small class of kids made their appearance from the back.

Some people stood up, whooping and hollering, as the kids made their way down the aisle!  The room was filled with a sense of accomplishment and pride as they walked in. 

All three students were beaming with smiles; some nervous...and some just nervously smiling.

As the graduates and everyone took their seats, Mayor Cunningham read a letter - a poem - from the Class of 2008 Valedictorian, Marchon Cunningham, who could not attend today's ceremony.

*"We must keep on learning though our graduation is done,
Our whole life is an education that has only just begun,

This diploma is the first big step,
for knowledge is the special key,
to winning what we want in life,
and being who we want to be,

If we're always a student,
we'll find the secrets to success,
and travel on the golden road,
                     to peace and happiness."* (thanks to

Everyone applauded and cheered!

"Congratulations Class of 2008!  Now come on up here, as I call your name, and get your diploma!"  Sabien smiled, wiping the tears from his eyes.

(Example Diploma that the students received)

"Rashid Cunningham."  (big whoots, claps and cheers follow)

"Congratulations son, I'm so proud of you."
"Graduating with honors, Elmer Valdes."
"This is our tremendous artist and photographer, ya'll give it up!"  Sabien smiled and the crowd cheered.

"Aww, my baby!  My firstborn twin.  I love you."  Emerita smiled through tears.

"Graduating with honors, Erline Valdes."

"You made it, sweet really did it.  I'm so proud of you, honey!  Take this diploma and turn it into gold...the sky is the limit.  I love you and I'm so very proud of you.  Emilene Maree is proud of you, too."  Emerita sobbed with happiness as tears rolled down Erline's cheeks.

Please read The Simmington-Times newspaper for more information on the scholarships and future plans of these students.

Man! This update almost didn't happen.  It's taken me 5 days to capture this event because of crashing (custom clothing issues/no meshes).  And then once the crashing stopped....I lucked out to even get some pics out of this wonky update!  It was awful!!  I was able to get one pic of the entire audience, but once the game was in motion, Sims kept jumping out of their seats left and right!  I don't know what happened?!  I had freewill OFF, but it didn't seem to matter, Sims were doing what they wanted to anyways! (ie. kicky bag) 

While I had your attention turned towards the stage, at the students getting their diplomas, chaos was  happening in the audience!  LOL!  I'm thinking maybe it was those chairs.  They're actually lounge chairs.  ? who knows what the problem was...anyways.  *sighs*

Poor Erline....Sabien couldn't even give her a diploma!  Every time I clicked on her, Sabien would half-spin. It looked bizarre!  It's a wonder Emerita was able to even hug her!  Craaazy game.  Everything is alright now, I have played a little bit further past this update to see that no more jumping is occurring. 

(I think back to the Mayor's Ball and how huge that was...bigger than this event, and it crashed only once, then I was able to play it all the way through - no problems.)
Well, I'm so happy, regardless of my game issues, that this crew is finally graduated.  Especially my Sim son, Rashid...I teared up, ya'll.  I was thinking back to when he was born and all that...looking at old photos...LOL!  I'm such a goofus.  :P
EDITED TO ADD:  Just received this in the mail....*winks at AV*

To:  Mayor Sabien Cunningham, Sr.  c/o Rashid Cunningham
From:  Fiona Kent, Apple Valley President

Congratulations, I hear that your son has graduated. Please accept this gift on behalf of our family.
Rashid can pick it up at ATS2 and it's available in any color he wants. A little something that he can type his term papers on.
 to provide a little study break.

((Thank you so much, Fiona, for the thoughtful gift! --Sabien, Sr. and Rashid))
And more gift!  (Tomika forgot to post it..:P)

To: Rashid
From: Mom, Dad, SayJ, and Scot

Click to play this Smilebox scrap pages:
The next update will pick up from Saturday afternoon, after graduation...


  1. Awww! You are not alone, I was cheesing through the whole update, girl. I was thinking back to when he and Marchon were little and now look at them. *sigh* Even in the sims they grow so fast.

    Now I can't wait to see what becomes of them in their early adult lives!

  2. Wow, congratulations. I can see you tearing up with your sim sons graduating.

  3. Aw, congratulations, grads! I can't believe this gang are graduating!

    Doing big events like this is always a hassle. It's worth it in the end, if you get some nice pics, but wow, it can really take up a lot of time as well!

    Have you already aged them to YA/adult? If not, I'm wondering how you got them in grad gowns as teens. I've never been successful in finding grad gowns for teens.

  4. RD, I can't wait to get into their adult lives...I've never gotten this far with the Cunninghams before (in any of my pre-SH games) so this will be new to me.

    AV, thanks! You know how goofy we can be about our Sims.

    Carla, I'm so proud of them! It's about time! Took forever to get them out of high school.

    Yes, big events take sooo much time and planning. It's worth it when you have beautiful 'memories' to look back on in your blog.

    No, I didn't age them to YA/adult, I actually got those gowns for teens at MTS2. I've been planning this since last year, and went on the WCIF rampage at any forum I could think of. LOL!

    There's recolors of them in navy w/white collar, too.

  5. You did such a nice job staging the whole graduation experience. It was really amazing.

    Congratulations, graduates!!

  6. Thanks so much Francesca! I'm glad you enjoyed it. I'm not sure I'll do this for every graduating class, though. I'll have to see.

  7. This was totally inspiring and bittersweet. I loved the speech, and the audience all waiting (er or not waiting) for all the students to come out. What a big event for all of them.

    The graduates all looked great, even wearing those goofy caps. Sry to hear about all the crashing and wonkiness.

    As for sitting. I always use Insim to drop everyone's comfort to 25%, it keeps them sitting.

  8. Thanks, maisie! It kind of took me back to my own high school graduation.

    You know you reminded me of something I always use that Insim to lower comfort. I always use it to drop social and fun, but I never think about comfort! That's brilliant!

  9. Wow such a beautiful ceremony! I'm trying to get my school off the ground so I'm miles away from having a graduation! But it was really nice and must have been a bear to capture!

  10. I was cheesing SO hard! Congratulations!

    p.s. Yay! You're back!

  11. Aww, Mizz thanks. You see how long its been since Sabien, Sr. and the Founders were in college? Since 2006 (human time)! LOL! That's how long it took me to get to this graduation. hahaha! Yours won't take nearly that long.

    I'm not sure I'm doing this was a TOTAL bear to capture! hahaha! I'll probably cave and do it again, knowing me...we'll see.

    LC, good to see you, too, thanks! I'm so glad you enjoyed their ceremony. Yesh..I made it back, thank God!