1996 February 12

Graduation

Sunrise over Lenin Hills

Yet his was and is a benevolent “dictatorship;” every action of Caesar Mil'gram, from the personal conferences to the lineups for hair inspection, is aimed at improving his students. (I hope Leonid Isidorovich will be happy to hear that my hair is very short these days!) Anyone who doubts that the students recognize and appreciate his efforts must not have been present at the graduation I attended. After a full day and night of celebrating, after watching the sun climb above Lenin Hills, the class returned to School 45 to sing, dance, and spend a few last precious moments with their beloved director.

Singing in Mil'gram's office the morning after graduation

I think there was a sense of family at School 45 that is notoriously lacking in other educational institutions I've attended, from B-CC to the ivied halls of Yale University. Granted, I didn't fit in everywhere. What went on during Young Pioneer meetings or in the War Preparation class, for example, is still a mystery. But it's inconsequential; whatever the proceedings there, the most important doors were always open. I was welcomed into the hearts and homes of my new classmates in a way that I shall never forget and can hardly repay. I am proud and grateful to have been so privileged.