15 June 2007

I Know Where the Nazis Went

Today, my son graduated from high school. With six to seven hundred kids in his class, the ceremony was remarkable for three reasons: 50 minutes of speeches that sounded suspiciously like "blah, blah, blah," 25 minutes to read names, and the presence of teachers who patrolled the area as if they were at a prison camp and not a high school graduation.

Lined on either side of these neat and orderly and darling young adults were teachers - about four per side and various ones walking down the middle, patrolling. This in addition to police and private security. The odd message seemed to be, you may be ready to be pronounced adults but we still can't trust you.

In his program, there were these simple instructions: please refrain from applause and other distracting behavior.

After years of forcing these kids to take standardized tests, banning innocuous fashion statements (technically, hats and t-shirts with messages are against school rules), and blatantly ignoring the fact that these are individuals struggling to emerge, this declaration that acknowledgement of a significant milestone ought to be done with the discretion of a Japanese tea ceremony. Sad.

Apparently, not all of the Nazis fled to Argentina. Some apparently made it into school administration.

Listening to the blah blah speeches, my wife asked me, what would your valedictorian speech be? My response? "2.5? None of you could have done better than a 2.5 GPA? What were you smoking?"

Blake rather amazingly checked the boxes without completely buying into the whole game. He seems to have done a better job of playing the game while knowing it was game than I did. I was never quite able to buy into the game in high school, although I did rather enjoy it by the time I got into college and even more so by graduate school. Sure, it's all games, all made up. But some games are simply more fun to play. The tough thing is remembering that it's just a game and then remembering that you're supposed to take it seriously. I can usually do one of those but rarely both.

Here's hoping that Blake finds a game that both draws him in and creates something of value.

Oh. I nearly forgot. Congratulations Blake!


Anonymous said...

Yay, Blake! Congratulations, Ron :)

exskindiver said...

congratulations blake.
in the words of the carpenters:
"its only just begun..."

hellooooooo ron!
it is so nice to finally see you in the flesh.

Dave said...

And Happy Father's Day in a few hours.

Ron Davison said...

I'll convey your congratulations to Blake ("One of my friends who I've never met says congratulations on your graduation!") :) Isn't this blogosphere weird?
Yes, well, this is sort of me in the picture with Blake. I've aged yet another 6 or 9 months since this - so the picture is misleading in that it makes me appear younger, lighter, and more hirsute than I am today. Perhaps this alone explains the history's allure to me.

Thanks. Where you live it is already Happy Father's Day - I've still got hours to wait.