Thursday, June 11, 2009

One week to go until Lincoln High's Class of 2009 Graduation.

Yes, it's the month of June now. It brings with it the "June Gloom" to welcome you to each morning, the June weddings that produce the June Brides- and then there's the high school graduations. On Thursday, June 18th, exactly one week from now, another academic year ends for students at LHS, and for the graduating seniors, this exit from Lincoln will be their last one from any high school for good. It's all happening up on the hill on Andrus Field, aka, "Andrus Stadium," but "Stadium" is more wishful thinking than anything else.

Some things don't change when it comes to graduations, but I hope that Lincoln begins to work on making it a better experience all around. I don't know when the service clubs finally were disbanded, but often these members were the ones that helped with guiding and ushering at events. Since that time, some of the duties have defaulted to the ROTC members, but the assistance for guests being seated is "on your own" with not much done to help later-comers find any open spots available in the bleachers. That part could stand improvement. It's always been my thought that there's no de-briefing after any events to iron out the glitches and fix the problems so that they don't recur. Like most things within LAUSD, it appears not to be among the concluding "to-do" items for running events, and the same things will show up again.

The school admin probably presents the graduating students with a lot of things that should and should not be done and what rules to pass on to the guests, but enough people don't get the word or don't abide by the restrictions. The air horns, the type used in boating, are probably the most annoying devices ever to show up at graduations. Maybe if these actually were confiscated instead of being gnored by the school police, we could experience the event more comfortably and the school police would be seen as a little more active in their duties, hence more useful. That's been my observation, at least.

Sound is often an "iffy" proposition, and it could be aided by having somebody venturing out into the stands during the event to report back on the volume level. Doing sound checks before hand will check the operation but the volume levels may be inadequate during the graduation. What starts out as audible is later overcome by the audience applause and often, yelling by exuberant family and friends. The result is that you may just be unable to hear a lot of what's announced as the diplomas are awarded.

Last June's graduation somehow seemed very sparse in terms of the speeches and presentations and ended earlier, at least it seemed that way to me. But I suppose we should be thankful for small favors.

The music side of things is a variable. With the school now having a marching band, there might be some members available to present some live music this year. Last year was simply recorded music or none, I don't remember because it was not memorable. The year before was nicely done with the small group led by Mr. Huff, to provide some music before the graduates were seated. Mr. Huff is also one of the the alumni faculty at LHS, graduating a year or two behind my class.

One thing that has to be decided is whether there will be any recitation of the alma mater. It seems so dated and I'm sure it's relatively unused during any other part of the school year, I really wonder why we bother with it at all. But if they print it on the program, is that supposed to be an omen of some sort if it's not going to be sung? And if it's going to be sung, then there should be some time set aside to practice it. An inaudible or otherwise fouled up singing of an alma mater would rank as one of the more lame things to happen at a graduation. Where that alma mater IS sung, I can almost be certain that anyone singing it is reading those words off of written sheet since it's not the kind of tune that you would expect to be loaded onto anyone's i-Pod.

Well, in week it will all be done for the campus activities. And then Grad Nite at Disneyland will wrap it up. Some things don't change.