My little brother is graduating from high school today! I am so proud of him and so sorry that I could not be there. Some times, living halfway across the country really stinks. Other times, it rocks.
Graduation is one of the modern constructs of society that signifies progression. It declares to the world that you have sufficiently BSed your way through a contrived academic system over the past four years to achieve mediocrity. This effort entitles a person to participation in a ceremony, during which they can expect to be exposed to several thousand germs.
Not that I intend to demean the accomplishment. I know that James worked very hard to survive in the harsh high school environment of drugs, sex and vampirism. I am certain that he savored each moment of commencement and will cherish each word spoken by people whose names he will forget very quickly. All that really matters is the hot robes and funny-looking hats, the only vestiges of the former golden age of education.
The next time you hear that same lame recording of classical music that all high schools (and most colleges) are required to use, think back upon your own graduation. Try to remember the special day—assuming you weren’t sleeping or strung-out. If it is possible to conjure fond memories, enjoy them until you remember what it was really like.