Karl Hyppolite

Senior Writer

Karl is a writer and editor hailing from South Florida by way of Haiti. Karl discovered his passion for words, prose, and storytelling at an early age. Whether it was writing episodes of his favorite cartoons as a small child or dabbling in poetry as a teen, content creation and expression has always been a part of his life. When Karl enrolled at the University of Florida, he decided to make this passion a career as he majored in English and pursued journalism. For the better part of the past dozen years, he’s written and edited for a diverse set of outlets and publications including Sports Illustrated, The Tampa Tribune, The Maritime Executive, Celebrity Cruises, and Norwegian Cruise Line.

As a Story Terrace writer, Karl interviews customers and turns their life stories into books. Get to know him better by reading his autobiographical anecdote below.

Graduation Day

Everything felt wrong. Every inch of my five-year-old body felt under intense scrutiny. A social inspection I was failing from my steps, gesture and posture. My size four shoes? Why were they squeezing my toes so tightly? Didn’t Mami say these were the ones that fit?

Waiting in the queue leading to the auditorium, I bend over in a futile attempt to loosen my shoes and my graduation cap falls off my head. My heart sinks. Mami and Papi had spent what felt like ages getting that cap to fit on my head properly. It felt uncomfortable and too small for my head. I picked it up off the ground quickly, hoping the white cap hadn’t been stained as I attempted to shove it back atop my head.

Mrs. Metro, my kindergarten teacher, came over to me at that moment. “Aw, Karl, let me help you,” she said sweetly. “We want you looking handsome on your big day.”

I stood in awkward appreciation at Mrs. Metro’s kind words as she adjusted my cap back onto my head. She always knew how to make me feel OK.

A few moments later, the doors to the auditorium swung open. Bright lights poured through the entrance and there were flutters in my stomach. Everyone would be seated in that big room and they’d be looking at me.

We practiced what we were supposed to do with Mrs. Metro last week. We were supposed to walk in a single file line when the doors opened and take our seats. Then you wait for your name to be called. When your name is called, you walk to the front of the stage…by yourself…and grab the piece of paper from the man in front. After grabbing the piece of paper, you would turn and look at the man holding the camera.

When he says, “Cheese!” smile for the camera. I remembered all of it and hoped I wouldn’t mess it up. Mrs. Metro led us into the auditorium and the lights looked even brighter than I imagined. I wasn’t sure if I had seen so many people in one place.

My size four shoes felt too tight.

I flopped into my seat and my graduation gown bunched up uncomfortably in the front. I lifted myself up and tried to rearrange the fabric, so I could sit comfortably.

I couldn’t sit comfortably.

I heard applause from the crowd and a man’s voice booming from a microphone. I could barely make out what he was saying. But I was focused on just hearing the sound of my name.

“…Kelsey Grant…”

“Tiffany Hardwick…”

“William Hunting…”

“…Karl Hyppolite…”

It was my turn. I got out of my seat and walked toward the man. He placed the piece of rolled up paper in my hand and I tried not to fumble it. I placed my little hands at two ends of the paper just like Mrs. Metro told me and looked at the man with the camera.

There’s a bright light shining in front of me. I can’t see much but I hear the word “Cheese!” cut through the air. I smiled as brightly as I could.

My size four shoes felt too tight.

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