The Graduation Gap

We chose the Delta West Academy for our kids because the school taught from pre-school to Grade 12, and its pupils totalled a mere hundred. My boys, going through the system twenty-one months apart, had an enviable class size of 8. Within this close-knit community, each child was recognized by name.  Over the 14 years it took for our last boy to graduate, Delta West became our home away from home.

There was a downside to having so few attendees. We were obliged to participate in each graduation over those 14 years. At every ceremony, the round tables were immaculately laid out to seat 8 people and we never knew who we’d share a table with.

One day, we were placed with a family of four whose daughter had just completed Grade 3. She was asked to sit beside me and introduced herself as Jocelyn.

“What’s your name?” the precocious eight-year-old demanded of me.

“You can call me Pops. My kids do.”  Like Queen Victoria, she was not amused and spent the remainder of the evening glowering in my direction.

Every now and then, I would burst out with a loud “Ow!”. At my third attempt, Joycelyn interjected. “Why did you do that? I didn’t kick you.”

“I’m practising for when you do.”

I wonder how many times in life we practise complaining loudly about the inevitable. Then, too late, realize the inevitable never showed up.

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Written by Emil Rem

An eccentric accountant becomes a writer of eccentric characters, in exotic locales, with each chapter taking us on a trip into the fascinating twisted world of Emil Rem. Born to a close knit middle class Muslim East Indian family in Dar-es-Salam in the 50’s, he is then moved to Maidenhead England at the age of five. The next twenty years are spent shuttling between England and East Africa, wearing a St. Christopher’s cross one minute and attending church, to wearing a green arm band and attending Muslim religious classes in Africa next minute. Moving to Canada, marrying a woman from the Philippines and having two boys only adds further texture to his stories.


The Graduation Gap