In the spirit of the end of college careers, the end of short high school peaks, and the beginning of the drawn out summer for those of us without high-powered internships in awesome cities, I’d like to comment on the real beauty of a high school graduation.
In Texas, the administration is, nine times out of ten, Southern in every way you would imagine, and/or religious. I don’t know why the church-goers seem to gravitate toward education — maybe they’re attracted to hierarchies where they get to tell people below them what to believe, or maybe they’re the only ones that can deal with snot-nosed kids and they’re better than the rest of us.
At my brother’s graduation, more than half of the adult administrations’ comments referred in one way or another to “keeping faith.” Add that to some big hair and a fireball attitude, and you have the recently appointed principal of my brother’s school.
The crowds are always great too. You have siblings back from college, like me, eyeing our old classmates from across the bleachers with snide looks of judgment, only to walk up to each other, squeal, “Hey!!!! How are you??” and swiftly part ways. You have families who you can tell are really, really glad that damn kid graduated, and families whose kids are bored because their kid got summa cum laude, and who are we kidding, they weren’t going to not graduate.
And then there’s my family: a few Russians, a lot of Colombians, a few really young, a few getting old, and my brother, the graduate, the 220-pounder, Varsity starter, soon-to-be chemical engineer. I’m not embarrassed that my mom tried to bring balloons with my brother’s name on them to release them when he walked, and then couldn’t release them, and then squabbled on the bleachers while my aunts all panicked in hurried Spanish, releasing the balloons a full five minutes later. I’m not embarrassed at all. But if I had been an asshole girl writing a blog post in her head, sitting behind my family, I would have a lot more to say about that crazy Mexican family jumping around and yelling.
Anyway, graduations from public school inevitably have the nerds giving the speeches and the future community college kids laughing at them. The nerds have no idea how pompous it sounds when they refer to themselves half-jokingly as “Honors kids,” and the community college kids have no idea how sorry they’ll be that they didn’t befriend that nerd giving the speech, at the very least for the answers to his/her homework. After we graduate, we’re all cast into the world, and opening new doors, and walking the path of life, and here’s my two cents, and all those cliches.
Overall, high school graduations are pretty lame. Yes, it’s a stage of life done. Yes, congratulations to all you graduates. No, you’re not anywhere near done. No, I will not give you my gas money just because you graduated.