Commencement is my high school's (Brantford Collegiate Institute in Brantford Ontario) Graduation Ceremony. Last year I received a call from my VP Tyndall (I have long removed the Mr. from his name) asking for my size of gown for the ceremony this October. I replied that I was not going, and he took my size anyway in case and told me he hoped to see me there.


I have since felt it important to make clear both my motivations for not going to and reservations about the Commencement ceremony. This is not just a complaint about high school, but it will sound as such so bear with me for a while.

1. Not in my life have I ever disagreed wholeheartedly with a team of administrators to the extent that I disagree with the ones who run B.C.I. I could (and will) node about my disappointments, but in short:
a) My principal's handling of the outcry during the much discussed Colorado shootings did little except elevate the irrational fear.
b) My dealings with the administration have been unfavourable at best, being sent home for wearing a shirt that said "Lockdown is a solution to a problem that doesn't exist.", or being suspended for three days for sexual harassment against a girl whose parents and herself defended me and asked for no action to be taken being the most public of these. Another favourite was the time Tyndall (VP) asked (yelled at) me "Do I look like I give fucking shit?" in the hallway in front of numerous students. {note: Yes, I was indeed quite civil at the time}

In the light of these administrative blunders (and many more) and their influence on my years at high school, I don't believe I was given an environment conducive to learning.

2. The classes were bullshit. Many of the classes were graded entirely on busywork. When I handed in an essay, for example, and receive a 95% on the final work, my grade would drop significantly because I didn't include an outline, rough copy, and so on. More marks in my OAC Geography class were for colouring maps than for our huge ISU we were to be working on for four months.

3. Graduation is supposed to be a huge thing, because you have achieved a large goal you've been working towards for years. However, I never once set graduation as a goal. I slipped into it. I went for six years in a five year program (skipping grade eight for an early start: irony eh?) and never once thought about post - secondary education until the last year (now being a student at Trent, and I love it). I lived with my parents. I coasted through school never working because I would only do the large assignments that I felt were worth my time, or would help me learn the material. For me, graduation is nothing but me standing up and saying "I had it easy and I didn't try. Thank you."

Graduation or Commencement is a big thing for people who weren't lucky enough to be in my position; those who set goals for themself, or couldn't live at home, or possibly now have a child to look after. In short, those who have achieved something of substance. For those people, I say congratulations and I wish you my best. But I personally feel like I would be a liar if I went and participated fully in the ceremony, not to mention how much I would dislike having to shake Tyndall's hand to receive my piece of paper.

Talk to me in four years when I leave Trent.