Graduation can be one of the more stressful assignments. Besides just wanting a few quality photos, there's still an overarching fear of misidentifying the students in them.
With covering both South Putnam's and Cloverdale's graduations last weekend, my M.O. was just to sit somewhere close to the stage and do my thing. By no means did I take many photos, and that was okay. Sometimes all it takes is having just one or two.
Jared, who covered Greencastle's and North Putnam's ceremonies, and I did get a few good ones which can be seen online and in Tuesday's Banner Graphic. We went in knowing we did the best we could, and that we most certainly got all the names right. However, I did not anticipate one conversation I had with a parent Tuesday afternoon.
This parent called and asked why her student, a valedictorian, did not have a photo of him featured. Not expecting to get any benefit of the doubt from her, I said that I had covered the ceremony in question and had taken photos of him, but that they turned out blurry and were not of quality. I told her that I had tried, but it just didn't happen.
I remember telling this to her with a kind of subdued agitation. Even so, I recognized that this wasn't the best answer; rather, it was the only answer. I expected this parent, proud of her student's achievement, to be angry about not having a photo, but yet she wasn't. Instead, she said we'd done a good job with our presentation and thanked me.
I keep going back to something we figured out during the Putnam County Leadership Academy: Each person will have their strengths and weaknesses, their successes and their failures. It can take some real courage to show grace toward others and their own. However, this understanding is greatly rewarding for you and the other person.
This parent showed grace toward me and the work we do, which I think some take for granted. It went a long way in renewing a little of my own faith as a local reporter.