Yesterday, the year 12s graduated. We had a grand ceremony, the last of many this week (academic awards, sports awards, graduation dinner etc. etc. etc.) with the entire school body and associated parents assembled.
For many of our students they are the first in their families to compete twelve years of schooling, so it really is a fine achievement. An even bigger achievement considering the messed up families some of them have had to battle. Even the cynical Flamingo Dancer was momentarily, and may I emphasise the word momentarily, overcome with a wave of good will to student kind. Luckily my natural instincts of callousness, sarcasm, and self centeredness soon regained their primacy. Some weaknesses must be carefully managed.
The student leaders stood in front of those assembled and declared this “is a moment I will never forget”. Yes you will, replied the voice in my head. If you drink as much alcohol as you say you plan to at schoolies next week, you won’t remember anything after Tuesday.
“I will remember you all, always!” You will forget their faces in five years, their names in 10. You will walk by them in the street and not recognise them, even when they say their names, in 15 years.
“We will always be there for each other!” Oh no you won’t. Let some guy come between two of you and there will be claws at ten feet within minutes. And the boys will be too damn lazy to care about anyone. I myself could quite happily walk over the bodies of a couple of people I went to school with…I would even help them become bodies!
Then there was all the gushing about how much they loved the school, the wonderful times they had together, the memories, oh the memories. The nightmares you mean! One school leader apologised to her cohort for not always being very nice to everyone (cutting the weak from the herd, always a great quality in a leader, don’t you think?) Two boys delivering their farewell speech cried (good for them, I say!)
Then we led them triumphantly through a guard of honour to the front gate – a brilliant way to get them off the school grounds. They are deposited on the footpath, the gate closes behind them … and we go back to class.
Now, we are a lower-socio economic area, so what do they do to celebrate? Why they pile into cars and race up and down the street outside the school, honking horns and yelling. Yep. They hoon the school where we all know they fought hard to not attend every day of those five years we had them. Now we can’t get rid of them.
Eventually the smarter ones realise that everyone is in class and no one cares about “yesterday’s heroes” and so they disappear into the sunset. We start preparing the class of 2014. The assembly line goes on…