Tuesday, June 8, 2010
Guest Post: I Am Legend
My aspiration is for people to remember me. When I am an old man, I want an endless collection of stories to tell the neighbors’ kids. They’ll say among themselves, “Really? He can’t have done all that stuff. He’s making it up.” Many of my friends share this goal, and we work together to reach it.
There are many steps on the journey to be legendary. Doing dress-up days for school is one: Mohawk Monday, Todd Smith Tuesday, and Weird Shoe Wednesday. Wearing our Sunday best every day for a week to “improve our attitudes at school”.
Dress-up days aren’t the only things, though. For prom our group ate dinner on the roof of the school and each did a pose on the sixth step down in the promenade...
We started a band on Facebook called the AstroKrew. My mom puts jokes on my lunch bag every day. These things are putting me well on my way to becoming legendary.
The latest fiasco and probably the biggest thing attempted so far happened at the McKay Events Center at 7:00 on May 27, the night of High School Graduation. That’s right, I graduated a year early.
I had to show up at six to pass out programs because I am in student government, but we ran out of programs within fifteen minutes. Graduation didn’t start for another half-hour, so I started talking to a couple of my senior friends. One suggested that I try and sit with them until they went to get their diplomas. We snuck me into the hallway behind the stage where everyone lines up before they troop out to their seats. I started getting nervous. Here I was standing in only my suit, and every other person in the rest of the hallway had their cap and gown on. I stood out. So I hid behind people every time a teacher walked by.
We were talking with some of the other graduates, waiting for seven o’clock, when the idea came up that I should go up and get a diploma. (They don’t give you a certificate with your name; you get that later when you turn in your gown.) I talked to the people who would be announcing the names and they said that they would read my name if I made it up there without getting caught.
Right before we started going to our seats, I heard a rumor that we had to walk in between two rows of teachers before we reached our seats. If this was true someone was sure to recognize me, so I started to leave and just sit with the regular audience. The same friend that suggested the whole thing implored me: “Come on, it’s worth it. If we pull this off, you’ll be a legend.” I agreed to go through with it.
I tried not to look up the entire time we were walking until we got to our seats. I could feel my face blushing with embarrassment and nervousness. The sinking feeling in my stomach was even worse than the one I experienced at the state cross-country race. As I rounded the corner, I glanced up and saw that the rumor was true. There were the teachers waiting to congratulate the seniors. The double lines of teachers were a guillotine that I was marching willingly toward. One of them was sure to know I am a junior and I would roughly get pulled from the line, be scolded and probably executed for screwing up graduation. I prayed that all teachers that I had previously had were at home sick, or were golfing, or sleeping, so that I would not be caught.
None of the first few teachers tackled me and I began to gain confidence, but my cross-country coach recognized me and touched me on the shoulder with a stern look on his face. I quickly waved and moved on. I saw other teachers who recognized me, but none scared me more than the principal waiting at the end of the line. When I got to him he simply shook my hand without as much as a jerk to pull me out.
It was a miracle! I had survived the teachers! We marched to our front-row seats and sat down.
The relief of surviving the teachers was short-lived, though, because I soon realized something: they probably didn’t want to make a scene, and would wait until we were going around the back of the stage to receive the diplomas to nab me. As the selected seniors gave their speeches, my apprehension grew. When the principal said his piece and presented us to the board, I realized that I was also being presented. When the board member accepted us I was accepted. I was three quarters of the way graduated. The only thing I hadn’t done yet is get a diploma and finish earning it. I had practically graduated a year early!
I was right. As soon as we stood up and went backstage a counselor asked me, “Are you graduating?” I replied, “I was just leaving.” She said something to me that sounded kind of like a threat, but I was out of there, so I didn’t catch it. I snuck out a back door and sat next to my friend’s family for the remainder of the graduation.
My friend had to talk to said counselor to get his diploma, but he got it without any incident. Any sacrifice was worth it.
My friend and I sang along to the radio on the way home, and I sang even more raucously than usual. I had graduated early and had lived to tell the tale to future generations! They will remember and pass down the story.
I will be legendary.
My guest blogger today is Coolister, my firstborn who is a month shy of 17 years old. Coolister enjoys a mean game of ping pong along with running and tennis. He is a natural smarty-pants, an avid scouter and a lover of adventure, especially the kind which makes him legendary.