Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Graduation Celebration: The Body vs. YOUR Body

It's good to be happy at your graduation ceremony, esp. since most of them are unbelievably boring.

It's good to be proud of your achievements at your place of learning. 

They said you would never graduate! But you did! You showed them! You did graduate! You won! 

Dance, by God! You earned it.

So did the person on deck, the one who also earned it, but the crowd will still be hooting over your incredible Hugh Jackperson routine, while Ingrid Introvert accepts her well-earned diploma as air-horns pierce her poor hearing organs.
Wait! I'm not done!

You like to show your individuality, I guess. But it doesn't count if everyone in your club does it. Then again, traditions can be meaningful, so okay.

In fact, graduation was once a tradition known for its solemnity. Hence, the funky wardrobes. Hence, "Pomp and Circumstance." The march. The profession. Maybe an invocation.

I guess your school was and is a Body in its own right. You were just a piece of it, today, sure, but also a piece of the Body's history. It's bigger than you, that's for sure.

I think you should be told over and over: "It's not all about you. It's never all about you. The Light shines on the Body." There's someone out in the world who cannot wait to tell you that.

When you went to high school, your family was probably pretty sure you would graduate. In most cases, you didn't exactly knock this one out of the park. In most cases, you didn't make a diving catch in the end zone to beat the Noles

And even if you did, someone had to pass that pigskin right into your hands while some other folks blocked for the passer and another teammate pretended the pass was intended for him/her and on and on. 

So you probably didn't get through high school on your own either. Teachers helped either by encouraging you are being so incompetent and boring it provided plenty of motivation to graduate and get the hell out of there in a hurry. 

Your classmates might have helped by letting you copy their homework and by texting you images of an exam they took in first period and you took in second. And your parents hauled your butt to Jerusalem and back so you could rack up and enjoy and grow from some extracurricular stuff. So it really wasn't just about you, was it?

Just FYI, the dancers and showoffs at Rollins' graduations, decades ago when I prof'd there, tended to be the very ones who had to spend the last few weeks getting Sister Kate to help them find all the credits they lost while they were hammered and high for the last four years. 

They didn't deserve to graduate, but when they did, they put on a helluva show to call attention to their scholarly acumen. "Look what I accomplished!" Sort of made me want to puke, incidentally.

Individuality is important. As a two-bit scholar of literary Romanticism, I have to believe that.

But if you really wanted to show your individuality, you could've flunked out or dropped out to indicate your contempt for a school system that more and more mimics the one depicted in Pink Floyd's The Wall. 

Or you could've not shown up for graduation. 

The gators and Dr. Fuchs have helped usher out Commencement as a solemn affair, even if it was well on its way already. Can't really blame this all on the gators.

Students can't be urged to move on, because that's a violent act against their bodies that prevents them from committing a different kind of violence against their Alma Mater's body. 

Oh, retired teacher, leave them kids alone!

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