Friday, April 03, 2009
Why Was This Night Different From All Other Nights?
Actually, it wasn't different from all other nights, just different from the Arista Installations while Suit was Principal. In fact, my problems with Suit began over Arista.
Suit would never allow himself to be second to anyone and when the microphone was put in his hand, he thought he was a regular Jay Leno. The first time Suit stood on stage he did not stop at commending the Arista members. That would have been smart. He went on to disparage all the other students who did not make it into the honor society. I watched the faces of the students in the audience, kids who were there to cheer their friends on drop. I saw looks of embarrassment on the faces of school security and on the brothers and sisters of kids who would never make it into an honor society.
Not being one afraid to speak my mind, I waited until Suit was in his office and asked to speak to him privately. I told him, in a nice and respective manner that I felt his comments were hurtful. He didn't say much and I left to go to my next class.
Kathy walked into my period 7 class and said, "Ms. POd, what did you say to Mr. Suit? He was bad mouthing you all over the office?" Now, I knew what I said, but I would not repeat that information to a student so I pretended not to know what she was talking about and let the matter drop. It was dropped, but never forgotten, by neither me nor Suit. We never discussed the issue again.
Many Arista installations followed that one. I am proud to say I never missed one, although most I watched from the back of the auditorium. (I always hated the stage.) Suit continued in the same manner year after year and while I cringed when he spoke, I tried to ignore him and usually walked out when the mike was in his hand.
Arista is all about the kids. The tradition before he took over was to have no speakers other than the one teacher the kids asked to be there. The ceremony was short and sweet. Suit turned the ceremony into an event. He invited politicians. He took photos. He cracked jokes.
Last night's Arista was reminiscent of the old ones. Except for the teachers walking across the stage, it was all about the kids. The kids were praised without anyone being put down. We were in and out in an hour and a half and our school has a very large Arista.
Aside from the line up of the teachers my only complaint would be with the cookies--I like chocolate not jelly and I am going to put in my request for next year.