Here are some handy guidelines for the nearest committee about to committ the error of a Middle School graduation ceremony.
1. Principals should not--never, no time, no how--be allowed to choose a poem to read at a graduation ceremony, particularly if they once served in the classroom not as English teachers but as P. E. teachers.
2. If Principals do get away with choosing a p-o-e-m by some awful happenstance, particularly chuckly little poems by Anonymous, they should not be allowed to read it to our Youth.
3. Principals should not invite their friends who manage local sports centers to speak to said Youth.
4. Principals should not invite people who will talk too much about themselves. Overheard conversation between two locals: “Why’d they ask X to speak? He just talked about himself!” Reply: “That’s all he ever talks about!”
5. People who cannot write their way out of the Proverbial Paper Bag should be muzzled shortly after approaching the podium. It is impossible to stifle too many of these guileless souls who clutch the podium with unwonted, beamful enthusiasm and burble forth to our Youth, and to us, who have neither the Youth nor the stamina nor the helpful swaths of innocence to help us endure.
6. Let’s all vote for a bit less of this freedom-of-speech stuff at the podium, a small but dangerous place, clearly booby-trapped.
7. Phrases that fill the minds of young people and their unfortunate families and friends with a subtle ache and a dense white batting, somewhat approaching the nature of cotton candy, should not be allowed.
8. Phrases that, with a little polishing, would feel comfy and meet and right in the mouth of Polonius (the guy standing there behind the arras, with the blood and so on) should not be suffered to live.
9. Anything that smacks of "The Lion King" must be booted toward the moon with cruel boots tipped with steel and hobnails galore. No more of this circle of life crap!
I could add a picture of graduating 8th-graders, looking remarkably adult. I could add a peaceful picture of a classroom after hours. I could add a picture of a big yellow bus on monster wheels. All this I could do, if only Blogger would be sweet and not so recalcitrant about the posting of pictures! Later, maybe. Update: Later, afraid not. More suggestions for graduation frolics in the Comments...