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Nervous goodbyes

June 18, 2004

Darleene Barrientos

Katherine Barber finished gluing felt letters, spelling out SDSU,

onto her cap just in time to join her friend Anne Penniall before La

Canada High School's graduation ceremony.

The 17-year-old girls are headed for San Diego -- Katherine to San

Diego State and Anne to the University of San Diego, whose initials

were artfully glue-gunned onto her cap as well.

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"I'm so excited," Katherine said. "I'm past sad. But I am a little

nervous."

Anne felt the same way.

"I've been a little scared," she said. "Today's been a little

surreal."

La Canada High School said farewell Thursday to Anne, Katherine

and their 349 classmates.

Several of those graduates, who wore the school's colors of

burgundy and yellow, left the school as honor students -- 73

graduated with a 4.0 grade-point average or above. Sixty-four

students were gold seal bearers of the California Scholarship

Foundation.

Josie Arkfeld came to see Allison Arkfeld, her first granddaughter

to graduate from high school.

"I'm excited," she said. "I think she's going to have a great

life."

Allison will study psychology at St. Mary's College of California

in Moraga, her father, Dan, said.

"This is a big event. It hasn't even set in yet," he said. "I'll

miss her, but she's ready to go, I think."

Thomas Gies, one of the ceremony's student speakers, shared the

nervousness and excitement of going to college. He described his fear

of coming to the school as a senior and how another student's shared

love of ultimate Frisbee changed his apprehension to eagerness.

"The fear of change and responsibility has plagued us every year

of our lives," he said. "Every year, it seems we are faced with more

fear and more changes. But it also seems we have a little more fun."

"And remember," he said, "always say 'hi' to the new guy."

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