He didn’t have any use for processions and a procession full of schoolteachers was about as deadly as the River Styx to his way of thinking.
—“A Late Encounter With the Enemy,” by Flannery O’Connor
It’s graduation day for the seniors and all the school’s teachers ... first grade teachers all the way to twelfth grade teachers ... are asked to attend either baccalaureate or graduation and since I like wearing my gown and hood, there I am, marching in a line, sitting down, and shutting up for a long time. It burns.
I graduated from one tough as hell college, but barely, so every time I wear all this gown and hood academical business, I really do feel proud and mature and I even remembered to turn my cell phone to vibrate.
So we all have our academicals on and it’s hot in the gym so we’re sweating and you know it’s hot when everybody in the building is waving their programs back in forth in front of their faces.
The giddy seniors are making speeches about what they’re thankful for before they get to move their tassel over to the left. This gang is in another building, but I heard stories about them. Teachers talk ... and teachers gawk at the other teacher's stories. It seems these seniors had allowed their teachers to really earn their dough.
There were persistent profanity issues I heard. One fellow, during his required senior presentation, spoke about the benefits of legalizing marijuana. So did another fellow. But a bunch of them were nice and made good grades and were respectful to their teachers. The yearbook turned out pretty good. A couple of seniors produced a first semester love child.
I’d have to say I most liked the speech given by the young man who told everybody he moved here all the way from South Dakota to come to this school. That’s a long way. Philosophically and mile-wise, he said. He thanked his grandparents for letting him stay at their house these last two years, and then he chuckled as he pointed at them sitting out there. When he ended his speech he looked up and mused to the ceiling, You know, it’s been a long ... strange ... jerrrrr-neeee.
I thought, For all of us, pal. Don't forget your humble teachers and the journey you just took them on. Then I waved my program in front of my hot face. There were a couple of flies in the gym, too.
Next Entry ... May 20: Bathrobe Humor