Sunday, June 13, 2004

More like class of two thousand and SNORE

I went to my sister's high school graduation this weekend, after a last-minute decision to be a good brother. Through no fault of my sister's, the ceremony was incredibly boring, natch. As promised, however, she did pretend to receive her diploma onstage, followed by picture-taking and the decidedly unceremonious process of waiting in line to actually pick up a diploma.

I saw Andy Lenigan there, for those of you who know who that is.

Why do school board members insist upon being on stage when students receive their diploma-holders? Who decided that every kid in the district must shake hands with not only their favorite teacher and their principal, but also five idiots they've never seen before in their lives? That seemed to be a waste of precious time that could have been spent reading names at a faster pace.

I went to the graduation expecting to hear a lot of names. Indeed, if you are in the mood to hear a lot of names, this is without a doubt the place to be (if you prefer your name consumption in animated text form, especially names of movie stars, I must again direct you to the horrible Ocean's Twelve teaser). In fact, I heard even more names than I was expecting, so I can't complain I didn't get my money's worth.

But I had forgotten, until the dreadful moment when I sat down and looked at the stage and memories of my own graduation* came flooding back, that I would also have to suffer through trite speeches by the (exclusively female) saludi- and valedic- torians. Speeches about how grades are important, but the most important thing is having fun with your friends and having memories to treasure.

Oh, and leaving for Cornell to study Biochemistry; so long, all you suckers who focused exclusively on the memory-building.

This last part no one said, but I wanted them to.

I feel the last thing smart kids need to do in their speeches is to pat mediocre students on the back and make them feel good about the fact that they had fun and that it's okay that they didn't work as hard. No! They are failures and you are a success; that's why you're on the stage talking! Say so! Rub their faces in it. Especially if you really did achieve simultaneous academic and social success, remind people how you are better because could do both and they could manage only one!

Unfortunately I was only able to achieve upper-medium smartness and was never afforded this outlet for expression. I wish I had been a -torian of some sort.

But not a historian. Laaame!!

* My memories of my own graduation included me being very sick and miserable as I sat in the hot sun and listened to many names (but not as many as this time!).

Addendum: Stephanie was a valedictorian and I'm sure her speech was excellent, whatever it was.


Zack said...

Of course I know who Andy Lenigan is! He's the guy who [strike]shit on our carpet[/strike] is a decent human being.

Apparently Blogger comments don't allow the strike tag. That's [strike]lame[/strike] super-lame.

lydia said...

I prefer "shat" myself, but yeah... sorry, Andy, about that mix up.

Kevin said...

I went to that Graduation.

Also worth pointing out: there were eight valedictorians/salutatorians. All female. All but one was going to study Bio, I think. And every time they announce that someone has a 5.0 there's an audible gasp from the audience, as if a 5.0 was at all unusual in this day and age.

There's also the stereotypical Senior Class Officers speech, where all five say a little something something about graduating. Since they're all identical blonde girls with Leadership voices, I didn't know it was five people giving a speech until I looked up from my examination of the program. I thought it was just one person taking long pauses.

I'd also like to point out that Mr. Costanza, the world's most stereotypical Guidance Counselor, once again mispronounced "Deenihan" when my Brother went up on stage. I began attending Foothill High School in 1996, and since then there has been a Deenihan continuously attending. My Mom, Kathy Deenihan, works in the Administration office frequently and sees Mr. Constanza all the time. The name was even spelled "Dean-ihan" on the card they give the speaker so that everything is pronounced correctly. And yet still he fails.

Andy shitting on the carpet is an old libel, similar to the Protocols of Zion.

Kenny said...

Oh...maybe I'm mixing in the officer speech with the saluditorians or something. They were awfully hard to tell apart, considering that every speech was pretty much the same no matter who delivered it.

Boy, did I feel old when Principal Johnson started talking about Reagan. He began his sentence, "Most of you were born around the time when Reagan was..." and I expected him to say "taking office," but then he said "finishing his second term." Aaarrgh!