The blog of photographer and musician, Kim Ayres

Prize Giving

May 5th. 6.40pm
We arrive at the school and find seats in the hall. All the seats are hooked together. Designed for smaller, school-children sized buttocks, not buttocks that have succumbed to middle-aged spread.

The ceremony will start at 7pm and will go on until... who knows? If it is run with the (dis)comfort factor of these chairs in mind, it will all be over by 7.15pm

We look through the programme and find our offsprings' names. Rogan is getting a prize for Graphic Communication and Meg is getting the "Grant Lewis" trophy, although we haven't managed to find out what it is being awarded for. Meg says she doesn't know, but she's excited about being awarded it.

They've still not started yet so I pull out my phone to put it on silent mode, but there's no signal anyway. I start deleting old text messages.

My buttocks are getting sore in these chairs. Will it never start? It must be running at least an hour late. I look at my watch.

I've only been sitting here 15 minutes? I don't think my buttocks are going to survive the evening.

Bagpipes start playing. We must be in Scotland. Or America. No, we're in Scotland - there aren't enough dazzlingly bright white teeth.

Talks by the Head Boy & Head Girl, the Headmaster's Address, Musical Interludes, and an Inspirational Talk by a footballer who once scored a goal against Rangers, have now been completed and the actual prize giving begins.

Meg goes up for her Grant Lewis Trophy. We still don't know what it's for.

Perhaps I should consider sponsoring an award trophy at the school. Good advertising. Get the name of my photography business mentioned in front of a captive audience.

Maggie asks what it could be awarded for. After a bit of thought I decide there ought to be an award for the most disruptive pupil who doesn't actually get suspended or expelled. To find, reach, and keep that fine line of causing maximum trouble without getting thrown out would require considerable skill, and ought to be recognised.

Rogan goes up to collect his award. I notice his hair is longer than all other boys here. I'm reminded that mine was when I was his age. Feel an additional pang of pride.

Bagpipes are playing and staff and guests are filing off the stage.

All is not quite over. Prize-receiving pupils are to have their photos taken for the local paper, and parents are to be offered a glass of wine or cup of tea.

I peel my buttocks off the seat and go in search of Mrs Lewis, sponsor of the Grant Lewis Trophy.

Find Mrs Lewis. She was a key support worker helping Meg's transition from primary to high school (as well as other children with additional support needs). She's retiring this year, and her son, Grant, also completes his time at Castle Douglas High School, so she decided to create the Grant Lewis Inclusion Trophy, aimed at highlighting the role of the Support Base for children with additional support needs going through mainstream education.

Because of Meg's efforts this year (see the highlights of her school report in the post, World Down Syndrome Day), she won the trophy.

We're very proud parents.

Meg with trophy

Rogan in the doorway, with hair


Charlie said...

Just another reason to be proud of Rogan and Meg—awards well deserved. Congratulations to them both.

And I'm smiling at the thought of you crammed in a little student desk. Not that many years ago you wouldn't have been able to do it.

Ponita in Real Life said...

Congratulations to both your kids on their awards! You must be so proud! What was Rogan's award for? And I love that shot of him in the doorway. Such a show off!!

hope said...

A hearty round of applause to children and parents! (And to anyone who can sit in those danged seats...I'm still considered "kid size" and they're not that comfortable).

Megan always looks glowing and if I had hair like Rogan, it'd be longer too. ;)

Kim Ayres said...

Charlie - fortunately these were just hard plastic chairs - they didn't have the little swing table bit.

Ponita - Rogan's award was for Graphic Communication - a sort of cross between Art and Technical Drawing. And he's now using that photo for his Facebook Profile pic

Hope - Rogan's big sister, Holly, does have hair like that, but you'd never know it because for the past 10 years or so she's used hair straighteners on it every day

Pat said...

Well done each! That's a smashing trophy Meg.
I recently donated a prize at my school in memory of my brother - for English literature - and I had such a lovely letter from a young girl who was awarded it. It makes me happy that Jack's name is remembered every year.

Anonymous said...

Way to go Meg and Rogan. Guess Rogan and I will be colleague's?

debra said...

Kudos to both of them. Not as much for the awards as for being their own person(s).

Guyana-Gyal said...

Hey Proud Daddy, BOTH your children have done so well. And they look so cool too.

Yay, you secret rebel you, I like the idea of your trophy.

Kim Ayres said...

Pat - that's a lovely memorial, Pat :)

Allen - well, actually he's got his sights set on astro-physics at the moment, but given both his mother and my father are artists and I'm a photographer, I doubt creativity will ever be far from what he does

Debra - thank you - we've never pushed them to aim for awards, so it's nice they can get them as a side effect of who they are :)

Guyana-Gyal - thanks for mentioning the trophy bit, I was rather pleased with that idea :)

savannah said...

congratulations to meg & rogan! and cheers for you and maggie! xoxoxox

TalesNTypos said...

Well done Meg and Rogan. They're gorgeous.

Carole said...

So very well done. Congrats to the kids and well as the parents. Hopefully your derriere has recovered.

Guyana-Gyal said...

Were you *that* student who deserved *that* type of trophy? haha. Don't answer if you don't want Meg and Rogan to know things they're not supposed to know :-D

pilgrimchick said...

Wow--good for them! However, I must admit that I got a kick out of the "mystery trophy."

Kim Ayres said...

Savannah - thanks :)

Adila - thank you :)

Carole - eventually... :)

Guyana-Gyal - unfortunately I wasn't, and it's something of a regret that there have been times when i've just played it too safe. If you're interested I wrote about a couple of such incidences in a blog post several years ago called Student Regrets

Pilgrim Chick - we all love a good mystery :)

ajsimmons said...

Hi Kim...lovely post, congrats to Meg & Rogan.

Ever thought of Twitter? Trying to get many more SF artists this year using it to spread the word and feel it would work well with your writing and photography...just a thought!...very easy to use and set up...
Amanda x

Guyana-Gyal said...

That was quite an interesting post, Kim. Made me think.

Maybe the things you've never done, and have regretted not doing, are like lessons to lead you towards where you do want to go, towards what you really want to do.

I come from a family of stubborn women so you can guess what happens, haha.

Anonymous said...

I've sat in those small chairs so you have my sympathy. Congratulations on your children's awards...well done! And I think your idea for an award from your bearded photo master self is a good one...are you still bearded? I wouldn't have quite qualified for your award (eons ago)...I was way to wimpy to do anything in school that was really risky! I did come up with some brilliant reasons why I didn't have my homework done. Enjoyed your usual!

David Mark Williams - Poet said...

Brought back memories. The CDH prize giving is interminable! So the chairs haven't changed then? Could be made into a film: The Pride and the Pain?

Well done to Rogan and Meg!

mapstew said...

Well done them kids! :¬)

Ron said...

Buttocks middle aged spread. Well, that is on 'benefit' of getting older which hasn't visited me....yet. Congratulations to your children for their awards. It's always nice to be recognized.

Kim Ayres said...

Amanda - I do have a twitter account, but I've never really done much with it. There are some who appear to post every 5 minutes, so whenever I take a look I just see hundreds of tweets from the same person, which is a bit off-putting. But you're right, plenty of peple do use it, so perhaps I should revisit :)

Guyana-Gyal - one day I hope to meet you in person :)

Theanne & Baron - yes I'm still bearded. MY wife has never seen my chin, nor does she have any desire to, so I can't imagine any reason to dispose of the beard :)

Mark - thank you :)

Mapstew - thank you :)

Ron - of course without the extra natural padding, I would image a boney ass would lead to even more discomfort...

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