Graduation Day

I’ve taught high school now for the better part of 20 years.

That’s twenty graduations. That’s twenty years of witnessing amazing stories.

Every family has their own unique stories. Every student their specific battles and adversity.

When I was a beginning teacher I never really understood what the big deal was.

It’s only high school, I thought. Boy was I ever naive.

You see as the years have gone by I realize how special each and every story is.

Graduation day is incredibly unique, the tears students and families share brings closure to one chapter, but signals new beginnings for the next.

Memories and experiences of the past shape their future endeavours.

The admiration that I feel seeing former students walk across the stage knowing what they experienced and went through makes graduation day incredibly special.

You see graduation day is special for everyone involved, because everyone in a very small way feels part of the journey.

Seeing countless former QMJHL players that we all have watched and followed makes the start of the 2020-2021 NHL season feel like graduation day.

To see so many young NHL prospects and undrafted players that use to call the QMJHL home finally reach their dreams after years of adversity is incredibly inspirational.

You see the game of hockey has an amazing way of connecting us all.

You hear whispers of the stories behind each players journey, the stress and sacrifices their families have all made to get them to that stage of their career.

I’ve had the absolute honour to interview and document some of those stories as well as getting to know some of the players and their families on a personal level.

To see them have success at the NHL level and share that moment with their families is truly remarkable.

There are so many amazing stories of perseverance and persistence.

We can all share stories starting with the line, “I remember when, that kid played in the Q.”

You see that’s exactly why Major Junior hockey is so special to so many people in so many different ways.

Given the circumstances, the start of the 2020-2021 NHL season is very meaningful, but to me it feels like graduation day and that reminds me just how special the game of hockey really is.

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