Things have been so busy, I don't know which end is up. Friday night, I had the honor of speaking to the graduates of the GED program in Thief River Falls. This picture captures the spirit of the occasion. Diana and Paul's foster daughter Angelique finished her diploma, and they are all thrilled.

This is the second GED graduation I have attended, and I have loved both of them. There is none of the stiff formality of a regular graduation. Total sense of celebration. Babies crying. Kids running around. Friends cheering out loud. And a set of graduates up front who have been through a lot. One two of the women were in their fifties. Many of the younger women had dropped out of high school to have children. The young men were delightful, too, including one named Tito who sat in the front row and smiled like a neon sign through the whole ceremony.

Getting your GED is no picnic. They do not slack off on these people--and in some cases, I think they probably have to come up to higher standards than the regular graduates. One thing is for sure--they do not graduate unless they pass the tests.

I gave a brief talk which was a summation of a column I wrote to graduates two years ago. They had such a beautiful piano on hand that wasn't going to be played during the ceremony at all, so I did a little ragtime as well. Couldn't resist.