Friday, June 27, 2008
I'm sorry to say this, it makes me sound like a fool but, I HATE GRADUATIONS, yet I never miss them.
Last night, my friend Gina's son Billy graduated from high school. Gina's husband, Billy's dad, died two years ago. Billy loves having people lots of people around so Gina asked me to attend the graduation, which I did.
First off, let me say that Billy is not a nice person. He is rude and disrespectful to his mom and his mentally disabled uncle. He thinks the world revolves around. Part of this behavior is stuff he can't control, but most of it can be controlled. I know, he controls it when he has to.
Billy graduated from a high school on the ritzy south shore of Long Island. Snobbery was in the air. Journals were distributed with full pages full of the young high schools achievements, pictures and wishes from their families. They must have cost a fortune to produce. In spite of all this, it was great seeing Billy walk across the stage. He is a special education student that accomplished a difficult feat. I feel part of it. I got him through Math A.
My school had its graduation today. This was the first time graduation came a day after school ended. I actually got paid to go! This is the only per session I have done in years. I figured, since I always go to graduation anyways, I might as well get paid for the day.
This year's set up was better than last year's. The kids (all 950 of them) lined up in an air conditioned gym. It was pretty organized and the kids were well behaved. It took forever to get into he auditorium. Naturally, there were too many speakers and Suit managed to tell his stupid jokes. In spite of the length, it was nice. I would have cut the part where they do the Faces of Packemin HS. That could have saved 15 minutes. And, although the music was great, three pieces were unnecessary. One of them showcased the talents of a teacher. He was great but it was not appropriate here. Parents wanted to see their children graduate, not see this guy perform.
To me, the highlight was calling the kids to the stage to receive their "diplomas". It took over an hour to call 950 names and Suit posed for a picture with every kid (He must be exhausted afterward all that smiling.) While I hated waiting for it to happen, it was nice for the kids.
Afterwards, people milled around outside. I saw a few of my kids but there were just too many people around to really find anyone in particular. Just watching the proud parents and seeing the flowers and balloons was enough to make me glad I sat through that boring ceremony.
Worse than the speakers and the length of the ceremony was the traffic getting out. I'm smart. I parked right near the exit and walked a long way to the ceremony. It got me out 40 minutes sooner.
Graduations are long and boring. Traffic is terrible. I look forward to next year's event.