A Graduation Song

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[This Commentary originally appeared in the June 28, 1990 issue of The Mendon-Honeoye Falls-Lima Sentinel.]

CarosaCommentaryNewLogo_259School’s out… Forever!
– Vincent Furnier (a.k.a. Alice Cooper)

Or so to speak, especially for those going to college in a couple months. But for now, revel in the new found freedom of no more homework, no more books, no more teachers’ dirty looks. You have completed the first job your country has given you – getting a high school diploma. That in itself deserves a celebration.

As music can often be found in most celebrations, maybe a graduation song would be appropriate. Since a newspaper doesn’t offer the proper medium for carrying a tune, the most one could hope for out of this song would be melodious lyrics. But, since this particular author doesn’t feel particularly melodious or lyrical, a thematic statement will have to do.

You see, my sister Andrea is the song writer in writer in the family. She even has a couple of songs copyrighted. She also just graduated from high school, making a graduation song even more appropriate. (I figure, if this theme cuts the mustard, she can take care of the music and make sure the words rhyme and all the rest of that song related stuff.)

I have to admit, I am impressed with Andrea’s musical savvy. For a high schooler to maintain the discipline to do something like writing music ought to wow most people. I know I tried to write music during my high school years. I arranged this one piece I called “Eleanor Rigby,” but the music teacher said it had already been done. I never tried to write music again.

Of course, I can’t limit this theme solely to my sister. Perhaps I shouldn’t even limit it to the high school class of 1990. I suppose if I were really wise, I’d write something which would endure. Something which mothers would clip out and save to be read every time one of their children graduates. Something which high school yearbook editors from across the land will eagerly set aside a page for.

Nah. Maybe next year. This year I feel like having fun. And therein lies part one of my theme.

Now that the responsibilities of high school have been swept away by time and passing grades, don’t forget to have fun. Soon a whole new set of responsibilities will present themselves. (That’s part two – we’ll get to that later.)

These responsibilities can be the worst kind – they will be self induced. For example, your parents won’t have to remind you to cut the grass anymore. Pretty soon, you’ll cut the grass because you know you have to. And you’ll take out the garbage, wash the dishes, trim the bushes and a whole lot of other things.

Really, there’s no way to get out of these responsibilities. On a bright note, though, at least you’ll have some choice on what those responsibilities will be. For example, if you hate cutting the grass, you can move into an apartment. This will give you more time for the other duties you have chosen.

So don’t forget to have fun. Having fun doesn’t mean skipping work. It means mixing play with the various chores of life. Having fun means smiling, and nobody ever hollered at you for smiling (like that one substitute teacher did in tenth grade).

Have fun. Make people laugh. Go ahead and be sure to laugh a little yourself. There will be plenty of time for work. In fact – and this can be done – if you’re really lucky you can have fun and work both at the same time. For example, writing these weekly epistles can be laborious. I do, however, have a lot of fun doing them.

One final thought about fun – make sure your fun never prevents someone else from having fun. If your fun hurts somebody else, that it’s not fun, it’s nastiness. Nasty people really don’t have as much fun as they think they have.

Oops! One last final thought on fun – it doesn’t always need to be constructive. Sure it’s nice to have fun and contribute to society, and we all seek ways to do just that. But, sometimes it’s great just to have fun for no other purpose than to have fun.

Oh, yeah. Part two of the theme exposes you to the harsh realities of ultimate responsibility. But, you’re all adults now and should be able to take it. Since you can no longer be called a high schooler, you will be referred to as something which has even more dreadful implications.

Every high schooler becomes one. It remains a heinous trait. Ask your parents. I bet most of them would gladly go back to high school to escape this one burdensome responsibility.

Think about this my wide-eyed children – you have graduated from high school to become… TAXPAYERS!

Next Week #65: An Old Fashioned Circus – RIGHT Here in Honeoye Falls! (originally published on June 14, 1990)
Next Week #67: Summertime Stargazing (originally published on July 5, 1990)

[What is this and why is here? See Interested in Discovering My Time Machine? for more details.]


  1. Chris Carosa says

    Author’s Comment: I really did want this to endure. It might have, too, if I didn’t spend all that time talking about my sister. I was kind of hoping this might get me invited to give the graduation speech at the local high school. That never happened, either.

    As luck would have it, my eldest child graduated from this same local high school a few days ago. Her English teacher last year and Drama teacher this year? My sister Andrea.

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