These notes are partly for myself, since I’ll have another child graduating from Somerville High in a few years.
Tip 1: Get there early and park on a side street heading away from Alewife Brook Parkway.
When the ceremonies are over the mobs will be really thick trying to head out of there. Getting there early is not just for the parking, though. The stands are filled in front of the podium by 5:30 for a 6PM graduation. There was standing room only by the time things got started. I brought seat cushions to reserve my seats while I scurried around trying to find family and friends. Which brings me to
Tip 2: Bring seat cushions.
Any soccer mom knows that 2 hours on metal stadium stands is murder on the buns. Plus you can use them to keep your seat if you have to duck under the stands to make a phone call because the bright sun makes your cell impossible to see. Which brings me to
Tip 3: Bring an umbrella.
Whatever the weather you may need it for rain or sun. The summer solstice is pretty close to graduation time and the stands catch the early evening sun like a giant solar cooker. My straw hat was invaluable. (Note to self: Follow the career of the kid selling cold water. Invest in his company.)
Tip 4: Don’t expect to hear the speeches.
The audience was chatting like they were at a cocktail party, and alternately whooping and hollering. Headmaster Ciccariello did a good job, though, and people were reasonably attentive to him.
Tip 5: Bring a hanky and fully charged camera.
It’s a moving event despite (and including) the boisterous crowd. This year’s most moving moment for me (aside from watching the joy on my son’s face) was the sweet class song written and performed by class members. I had heard it at class day so I whipped out my camera to record most of it. I posted it to YouTube for you. Enjoy.