Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Class of 2020: Don't Feel Bad About That Graduation Ceremony

There's been a lot of talk about the hardship endured by the Class of 2020 because they don't get to have a regular graduation ceremony.

Are you kidding me? Do they realize how lucky they are?

Here's what I remember about my high school graduation: boring speech, boring speech, boring speech, walking across the stage to get my diploma. That's it. (Well, and maybe a few more boring speeches.)

Also, they made me pose for pictures next to a couple of doofuses. 

I've been to a few graduations since my own, and I can tell you that if anything, I am understating the amount of speeches and the sheer boringness of them. There's the introductory speech by the vice principal (or some other school official), which has a 92% chance of being completely boring. Then there's the speech by the valedictorian, which has a 74% chance of being completely boring. (You might get lucky enough to have a valedictorian with a good sense of humor, but don't count on it.)

Then there's the speech by a random member of the school board. (Or, should I say, school bored.) This speech has a 99.998% chance of being completely and utterly boring. In the entire history of high school graduations, no one has ever said, "Gee, I hope someone from the school board talks! I really want to hear what some person I've never heard of who is on the school board has to say!" (They should really look into using school board graduation speeches as a cure for insomnia.)

And, finally, there is the speech from the principal, which has an 88% chance of being boring, and, as a bonus, also includes a 63% chance of the principal crying and a 96% chance of the principal declaring that this graduating class is "the greatest graduating class I've ever had the privilege of dealing with."

Other graduation ceremony staples include a couple of heartfelt songs and at least two instances of someone stating that this class "will change the world." Oh, and there's also the waiting in an extremely long line when they finally start calling names and letting people go up to the stage to get their diploma. (Which, by the way, isn't actually the diploma.)

Just a few students waiting their turn to walk across the stage.
So, the Class of 2020 should be just fine with not having the traditional graduation ceremony. Don't get me wrong, there are some things they are missing out on, like Senior Prom, yearbook signings, and those last crazy few weeks of school.

But, the Class of 2020 graduation ceremonies will be much more memorable than everyone else's. They'll have stories of drive-thru graduations, or graduation parades, or wacky Zoom meeting graduations. They'll be able to remember their graduations without having to deal with all of those sleep-inducing speeches!

So, Class of 2020, enjoy your unique graduation ceremonies! Then go out there and change the world.

Thursday, May 21, 2020

20 Things I've Missed About Restaurants

I've missed restaurants. Don't get me wrong, I love my wife's cooking. Heck, I don't even mind my own cooking. But, there's something about being able to go someplace and letting other people take care of the food and the cleanup. Here are 20 things I've missed about restaurants:

1. I've missed getting to decide what I want to eat when I am hungry, instead of having to decide, plan, and prepare meals hours (or even days) beforehand.
2. I've missed trying to decide WHICH restaurant to go to. (There are so many to choose from!)
3. I've missed the joy of hearing my mispronounced name yelled (or having a round buzzer go off in my hand), meaning we're getting called up from the lobby and going to be able to sit at an actual table.
4. I've missed walking into a restaurant to the smell of food cooking.
5. I've missed getting the seat with the view of the television, so I can keep my eye on the score of the game. (Remember when there used to be games on the television?)
6. I've missed looking at all of the choices on the menu, even though I know I’m going to get the same thing I always get, because I know it is good.

7. I've missed the sense of accomplishment when I find all of the words in the word search on the children’s menu (without having to circle them.)
8. I've missed the sight of multiple servers bringing out all the plates for the entire table all at once.
9. I've missed touching the plate that the waitress/waiter has warned me is REALLY hot, just to see how hot it actually is.
10. I've missed being around other people. (Even those noisy people at that table in the corner.)
11. I've missed having someone else clean up all the mess from cooking the food.
12. I've missed the joy when they bring that second (or third) basket full of tortilla chips (at a Mexican restaurant) or breadsticks (at an Italian restaurant.)
13. I've missed eating food prepared by someone other than myself.
14. I've missed when my wife asks me if I want to try a bite of her meal, because, maybe I should have ordered that?
15. I've missed that satisfying feeling when the waitress/waiter refills my drink at the exact moment I thought, “I could use a refill on this drink.”
16. I've missed having someone else clearing the table and doing ALL of the dishes.
17. I've missed trying to figure out how much to tip.
18. I've missed after dinner mints.
19. I've missed taking home the to-go box.
20. I've missed the satisfying feeling of actually remembering to bring the to-go box in from the car.

Edited from the version originally published in the May 2020 edition of the Serve Daily newspaper, available in fine locations throughout southern Utah County.