Safer at Home – Day Twenty


April 21, 2020

One of the casualties of the Coronavirus pandemic are the “red letter” events in our lives that show a rite of passage or mark of achievement. Recently, actor John Krasinski held a virtual prom for 2020 seniors who had to cancel their dances due to the need for social distancing.

Likewise, schools will most likely forego the graduation ceremonies that for centuries have marked the launching of a next phase of life for students – one that is witnessed (or endured) by their friends and family. I still remember (vaguely) my college graduation.

In an unusual scheduling decision, our ceremony took place 5 days after the last class of the year. Most of us had to remain on campus where there was little else to do except visit the fraternity drinking parties that were being held pretty much around the clock. Poor choices were made and made repeatedly.

The ceremony itself was rather a blur. I remember we were grouped by the type of degrees we were receiving with the honor students always being announced first. Direction was clearly given to the audience to hold their applause until the end. Bachelor of Science graduates went first, with honor students leading the way followed by the other graduates. The dean then invited audience response by saying, “Let’s hear it for the honor students!”

Each discipline was given the same treatment. Honors first, everyone else next and then, “Let’s hear it for the honor students!”

Finally, it became our turn and the same thing happened. As I was taking my seat after receiving my diploma, I heard the dean say, “Let’s hear it for the honor students!” Without thinking, I blurted out, “What about us dummies in the back?”  It received the loudest applause of all.

Michael Ondrasik and Home Video Studio Mount Dora specialize in the preservation of family memories through the digitalization of film, videotapes, audio recordings, photos, negatives, and slides. For more information, call 352-735-8550 or visit our website.

Pomp and Circumstance


It is that time of year to prepare to say congratulations to the young men and women who are on the cusp of one of life’s great achievements – high school graduation. Putting together a photo/video keepsake to recognize and honor their journey is a great idea and I’ve done a number of them over the years. The importance of choosing the appropriate song to accompany pictures of your graduate in various stages of his or her life cannot be emphasized enough and there are a number of great songs to choose from.  Here are some client favorites along with some key lyrics that help explain why they are popular:

The Climb – Miley Cyrus 2009. “Ain’t about how fast I get there. Ain’t about what’s waiting on the other side. It’s the climb.”

My Wish – Rascal Flatts 2006. “My wish for you is that this life becomes all that you want it to…”

I Hope You Dance – Lee Ann Womack 2000. “I hope you never fear those mountains in the distance. Never settle for the path of least resistance.  Livin’ might mean takin’ chances, but they’re worth takin’…”

Graduation (Friends Forever) – Vitamin C 1999. “And so we talked all night about the rest of our lives. Where we’re gonna be when we turn twenty five. I keep thinking times will never change. Keep on thinking things will always be the same.”

Unwritten – Natasha Bedingfield 2004. “Staring at the blank page before you. Open up the dirty window. Let the sun illuminate the words that you could not find. Reaching for something in the distance. So close you can almost taste it. Release your inhibitions”

Breakaway – Kelly Clarkson 2004. “I’ll spread my wings, and I’ll learn how to fly. I’ll do what it takes till I touch the sky. And I’ll make a wish, Take a chance, Make a change, And breakaway.”

Good Riddance (Time of Your Life) – Green Day 1997. “So make the best of this test, and don’t ask why, It’s not a question, but a lesson learned in time, It’s something unpredictable, but in the end it’s right, I hope you had the time of your life.”

These are just a few of the songs clients have used to tell the story of their graduate’s life. There are many others and I’m sure there’s one that would be perfect for the graduate in your family.

Michael Ondrasik and Home Video Studio specialize in the preservation of family memories through the digitalization of film, videotapes, audio cassettes, photos and slides. For more information, call 352-735-8550 or visit our website.