This Friday at graduation I won’t give a speech. No one will, in fact, no ASB president, no valedictorian, no visiting dignitary. Instead, in a long running and well loved San Dieguito tradition, every one of our graduating seniors get to say a little something to the crowd.
Well, “say” isn’t exactly the right word; to do something like that would involve a lot of mic passing and run the risk of pushing the ceremony into the run time of a Harry Potter movie.
No one wants that.
Instead, each senior has the opportunity to write her own graduation message, the words that will be read as she picks up her diploma.
Twenty five words to be exact.
Last month seniors submitted their messages, along with phonetic spellings of their names, and that parcel of humor and heart is now collected on my secretary’s desk just waiting for commencement to begin.
The messages are wonderful.
Years past have seen everything from the expected appreciation of parents and teachers to heartfelt messages of love to family and friends. One year a group of students who followed each other in order each submitted twenty five words from the lyrics of Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody …with the direction that the counselors sing the messages.
The counselors did.
This may sound goofy to some, or irreverent on a day meant to celebrate a serious accomplishment, and I suppose in a way it is both, but it’s also a great example of who we are as a school.
I’ve looked at this year’s messages and they continue this tradition of the silly and the sublime. That the two can nestle together and be filled with so much joy is a testament to our students and our school.
For anyone who hasn’t seen a graduation at San Dieguito, Friday’s commencement will prove a great opportunity to hear the diverse voices of our students. Taken together they form one unified voice for our special school.