With the cancellation of the rest of the school year, local students from Drury High School, Housatonic, Pittsfield High, Mt Greylock and the scores of other local high schools and colleges will not be experiencing the crescendo of their schooling know as graduation.  Without graduation there is no commencement address, usually by someone held in high esteem that would pass on words of wisdom and inspiration as students prepare for their next challenge in life.

As a new “normal” still tries to find its way into everyone’s lives, we have often been pleasantly surprised by the acts of kindness, the creativity and out of the box thinking that has made for some very unexpected moments during this pandemic.

Technology has made its mark in such a big way during this world in crisis.  Zoom meetings and virtual cocktail parties, a Skype call between a family and a loved one isolated and alone in a hospital bed fighting for their life, a Facebook live session by a favorite artist performing from their home studio with just a guitar and microphone.  We have been forced to figure out ways to connect and be connected to those people and activities we took for granted.

One of those out-of-the-box events will take place this Saturday at 8 o’clock when former President Barack Obama will deliver a prime-time commencement address for the Class of 2020.  The event dubbed “Graduate Together; America Honors the High School Class of 2020” will be carried on most major networks and a host of digital streaming services.

The hour-long event will also feature LeBron James, Ben Platt, Malala Yousafzai and many others.