GraduationMay 16, 2007

Graduation. It's just around the corner for the seniors. They are all excited they got to leave school yesterday, and never have to come back again... at least not for classes. Some, not including those who have had the luxury of attaining at least an 85 average in the class and the 4th quarter, or who have already taken an IB or AP exam in all of their classes, still have finals that need to be taken. But what about the rest of us? The juniors, sophomores, and yes, even the lowly freshmen? We still have 7 treacherous days of this torture left, including exams in every single one of out classes. Oh what joy. How will we ever survive? Summer is just around the corner, and as some of our best friends will be enjoying the freedom that comes with summer, we will sit in freezing cold classrooms writing out the answers to some question on a final which we, regrettably, never did get around to studying for very much.

But back to my original topic, graduation. Sure, the graduates are all enthusiastic about walking up to the altar at the Basilica of the National Shrine to receive their diploma after 4 years of slaving away in high school giving the proud parents the opportune, or even perfect moment to snap pictures like crazy people as their children smile out at them with the treasured document in hand. It's even a nice way to say a final goodbye to all your classmates after the ceremony ends and they are released from any educational obligations for the rest of their lives.

And then there's the actual service. I have nothing against the actual concept of graduation, but why must they give out the diplomas separately to every person in the grade? It's not only time consuming, but dull and dreary, long and boring. Each name must be called out individually as the band gets to sit up there bored out of their minds, sitting with their instruments with nothing at all to do but wait to play Pomp and Circumstance at least 42 more times before they will be free from this agony.Even though it's more like 12, but count the amount of times they would have played the piece the night before at the Senior Awards Ceremony and at the beginning of the graduation as well, and it will feel like 42 times. What makes this even worse is the fact that there will not be any seniors in the band playing alongside the rest of them. This will be the first time (save for the practices held the week prior to the performance) that there will not be one single senior playing. How sad is that? We juniors will have lost our mentors, only to become the oldest ones in the ensemble to whom the rest of the band will look up.

Now there is one scary thought. Next year, we will be the oldest class in the school. We even have our class rings to prove that we are upperclassmen. Furthermore, as sad as it is to say, we will have effectively brought the oxford shirt, navy blue polo, and khaki bottoms, skirts for the girls and pants for the guys, into the entire school. We will be the first graduating class from Good Counsel to have taken classes in the new building for an entire year. It appears we will have a lot of responsibility next year. How strange? I know I can still remember the times where we were all little freshmen, fighting our way through the dreaded hallway while competing with our classmates for room to simply breathe. It's weird to think about. But for now, having just successfully written something with an ending that feels more like a graduation speech (a bad one, mind you) than an OP, I think I will just end it here wishing everyone a very enjoyable summer.