Monday, April 30, 2012

Commencement Speakers Should Bore You not Piss You Off!

Ah, the soundtrack of my grad year. Quarterflash RULEZZ!
I think when I graduated Catholic High School, our commencement speaker was the Superintendent of Catholic Education or someone who dealt with waterways. Either way, it was hot, he/she/it was boring, I had a date with THE MOST AWESOME GIRL EVER and I just wanted out of there.

When I graduated, at long last, college, the speaker was someone from The State Board of Education, maybe it was even Evelyn Gandy or some who dealt with waterways. At any rate, it was hot, the speaker was not interesting, and I was coerced into having dinner with my family afterwards which felt more like entering nursery school rather than graduating college.

When I graduated St. Mary of the Lake Seminary, the speaker was a bishop of somewhere maybe the Bishop of Waterways. Regardless, it was hot, he was unmemorable, and I was a bit distracted by the Hispanic graduates who were putting the grease in their hair and Aramis behind their ears for the graduation DANZA!! And hot? With those guys: MUY CALIENTE!

The other day, a colleague sent me this and commented: "Why are there speakers at graduation? No one comes to hear the speaker. They come to see someone be graduated. Yet, every year Catholic schools get in controversy over this?"
Here's more:
Catholic grad, gay and maybe in J. Crew
An alumnus of a Catholic high school in Michigan who was supposed to speak at his alma mater's graduation recently learned that his invitation was revoked once school administrators learned that he is gay.
New York City-based actor Dominic Sheahan-Stahl was to speak at Sacred Heart Academy in Mt. Pleasant, Mich., where he graduated in 1998. His youngest brother William is also in this year's graduating class.
Sheahan-Stahl (two names!) is an actor and has appeared in such productions as..nevermindnotimportantleavemealone.

Ok, first: Catholic school speakers suck.  They do. They really do. In our Diocese, the one with the new paradigum of everything ever, speakers run the gamut. Some schools have to appear to adhere to Catholic principles and get some bigwig Catholic speaker while others get someone who is SOCIAL JUSTICE oriented or cheap.
Scratch that.
All of them are cheap. And as far back as my graduating year, the year when rap was for kids and mohawks were for thugs, speakers killed the life out of you.
When I am asked to do a graduation, I hear "You are boring and cheap".

Second: I do not believe this principal can honestly claim to have made a mistake. I think he wanted to BE SIGNIFICANT! But if it was accidental, I'm sure he's gonna go all Pilate and wash his hands and blame someone else.

Third: Yep, blamed someone else.
The decision, according to (principal)Starnes, is now entirely in the Bishop’s hands. The students claimed he made statements in support of gay rights and of our protest of intolerance. They have said that they are grateful for the courage exhibited by their principal in admitting his mistake and working to make a change.

The Bishop ate my hom(osexual)work!
Oh..that's new. Seuss theme.

Fourth: Unsolicited but a bit of advice to Catholic Schools.
1. Don't invite speakers. Especially anyone with a hyphenated last name.
2. If you MUST have a speaker, the waterways guy is good. Even better than a priest or bishop.
3. Still, just don't have a speaker. Don't even have graduations. Email the document and forward it to the higher institution or diesel driving academy the graduate will be attending. Done/done.
Seriously. How many times can you hear some kid read "Oh The Places You'll Go"? Like NO ONE has thought of that before. It's so overdone it's a theme! A FREAKING ZIZZERZAZZERTHEME!
Not to mention, never has a Catholic valedictorian or salutatorian said much about Catholic education. They have quoted Martin Luther King Jr, Einstein, Margaret Mead and I think the bearded guy from "The Hangover" but never the Gospels or any other part of the Bible. Not even the "there is a time for this and a time for that" thing from Ecclesiastes. Come on, that's a slam dunk!
4. Don't have proms either. The nuns hated them in the 50's and they just have gotten worse.

And don't get me started on Catholic colleges-*

*I think I will get started on Catholic colleges, actually....