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Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Graduation

Yesterday's blog post was the result of too much pizza, too many Oreos, and too much Rite of Passaging. The second I broke free of my cap and gown, I ended up leaning on TOLauren's lap while Jess rambunctiously knocked into me at uncomfortable angles, and a TV show about sexual repression in the '50s lulled me to sleep. "You only have ten minutes left to write your blog!" Lauren exclaimed, breaking the dreamland sound barrier enough to bring me to consciousness. "Don't worry," said Jess, bouncing over to my computer. "We'll take care of it for you!" I insisted that they immediately specify that I was not the writer, but other than that, they were free to do as they pleased. Unfortunately, there's the possibility that some confused new readers will think that I meant that stuff. Thanks for that one, guys.

To clarify, the day of my high school graduation went a little bit more like this.

Rehearsal started in the early morning rain and lasted for several unbearable hours. I, like many people, was wearing shorts, a tank top, and limbs full of goosebumps. I pretended to listen while our doofus of an assistant principal exerted his last bit of authority over us by making us walk through the motions at least four times. The secretary I wrote about a while ago (yes, that one) meanwhile muttered to the powers that were and jabbed her hands around in furious directions so we could all see how powerful and important she was. I chewed gum with vigor as my choir ran through "Lean On Me," because, honestly, no one could tell me not to anymore. 

The rain took enough of a pause that evening to not disrupt the portion of our ceremony that wasn't under the roof of the pavilion. I wore that dress I showed you guys and matching earrings, but since the traditional graduation getup pretty much covers every surface from mid-calf up, all anyone saw were the strappy, silver prom shoes I wore to be eccentric. It was really sort of warm and pleasant on the stage in a very early summer kind of way. My friend Seers texted me, "I might fall asleep up here. Seriously. It's warm and this robe is like a blanket."

Oh yeah. Which reminds me. My friends and I exercised four years' worth of surreptitious texting practice by tweeting through the entire ceremony. My brother @replied me saying he'd pay me $500 if I screamed "FIRE!" Friends from the school newspaper staff in the audience begged me not to make them cry and made snarky remarks throughout. The funniest messages, by far, were in response to Andrew's commencement speech.

Oooooh, goodness. How is one expected to feel when she is designated Girlfriendthing of the guy barking Klingon into the microphone? I kid you not. It began with alien language and ended with a combination of "Live long and prosper," and my humiliation. The director of my musicals, seated in the front row, made eye contact with me, betraying her vicarious embarrassment. My brother texted me, "You've kissed that guy. FYL." It's possible that I would have found this charming and funny a few weeks ago, but feeling a thousand eyes reading my reactions made me sort of want to vomit. In hindsight, that was out of character for me... but I'm trying to preserve the hellish night I left Hell High School exactly how it happened, and last night, I almost embarra-barfed.

The last speech of the night could very well have been the last speech of my life, because if it weren't for the sheer grace of God intervening, it would have gone on for six more days. I sound like a jerk for saying that. It was delivered by our principal, who's battling leukemia. I've always genuinely liked the man, especially compared to the rest of the faculty, so the past couple of months have been hard. His speech was heartfelt, and I recognized that he tried to be inspirational, but by around the twenty-minute mark, it was losing its grasp on my heartstrings. I don't know... maybe I'll go to hell for saying that. Maybe I'll wake up tomorrow and have to go through four more years of high school with Satan himself as my hall monitor. I'm just trying to tell it as it is.

Anyway, when I finally went to walk across the stage, I felt absolutely nothing. Not excited, not nervous, not melancholy, not proud. I might as well have been walking from the fridge to the couch on any other day. Our present stand-in principal read my name (correctly, this time-- in rehearsal, he thought my middle initial was A) and I went through the process thoughtlessly. The school board, principal, and assistant principal greeted us for handshakes. By chance, the first board member in line was my closest family friend, so we had a long hug. The second member in line was Seers's dad, who's helped raise me, so I hugged him, too. Then--HAHA!-- the most awkward moment of the whole night. I barely know the next woman in line, and she obviously just assumed I was the hugging type. She reached out to sincerely embrace me, and I instinctively stuck my hand out like a dead fish. We fumbled around for way too long, trying to gauge what to do, and ended up sort of leaning towards each other while moving our hands robotically. At the end of the line, as I was handed my honors diploma, I honestly considered ripping my robe open, screaming, "SUCKAAAZ!" and running off the other end of the stage, all the way home.

But I would have missed the Alma Mater! Have any of you ever seen the VeggieTales episode in which they're forced to sing a worshipping song about chocolate bunnies that symbolically threatens their religious beliefs? Well, Junior Asparagus and I have a lot in common, and I don't just mean our unruly hair. The lyrics to my school's Alma Mater are preposterous, and I'd probably think that even if I felt this way:

Praise we bring you, Alma Mater
Hell is your name.
Songs we sing you, Alma Mater
Widely known your fame.
In our hearts, we'll always know
Our pride in you will grow and grow.
True and loyal, Alma Mater,
We shall always be.
And forever, Hell High,
We pledge our hearts to thee.

I don't know who idolizes fire and brimstone like that, but I certainly don't. I've had issues singing along to that damn thing my whole schooling career, and last night, with my diploma on my seat, I stood at its opening chord just so the audience could see my lips not moving. I looked over my shoulder to Lauren, and I practically pulled a muscle from laughter. Wild and bold, she sang it out like some kind of negro spiritual tune, squinting her eyes closed in mock appreciation. I love my friends. As it came to a close, I couldn't help but think of some more fitting lyrics:

God, I hate you, Alma Mater
You cause me much pain.
God forsake you, Alma Mater
Disgusting and mundane.
Long as we're here, we'll always know
Nobody will learn, benefit, or grow.
Repelled and angry, Alma Mater,
I shall always be.
And despite all your attempts,
No one here can define "thee."

The band came to a crescendo, the assistant principal gargled something inaudible into the microphone, caps were thrown, hugs were exchanged, and I bolted out of there as fast as I could. "SCREW ALL OF YOU!" I shouted past a collection of teachers. My choir director laughed and told me to call her by her first name. At least some good came out of that idea.

Which brings me here. I'm a free woman. I only had to endure the hopeful uncertainty of elementary school, the awkward tension of middle school, the penetrating annoyance of high school, and ten flipping speeches about what Confucius say and reaching for the stars. I wish I could say that the ceremony made me want to start go-gettin', movin' and shakin', but it really just made me want to eat a box of Oreos.

Chipotle burritos this year: 21
Subscribers: Youtube won't tell me because it's doing site maintenance. I posted a video on hayleyghoover today, too, but good luck watching it until tomorrow.

Bye, guys! Hopefully I'll see you tomorrow. But not while I'm seeing LAUREN FAIRWEATHER! Once again, if you live anywhere near Akron, Ohio, you should come to the wizard rock show tomorrow night. Can't wait to see some of you, blog readers! <3

62 comments:

Stefan said...

congrats darlin! I'm so happy for you... I sincerely hope it all gets better for you from here. I loved college and high school was also kinda rough on me. I hope college goes just as well for you.

Tom said...

It is so hilarious to hear you say "I felt absolutely nothing" as you walked across the stage, since I'm going to walk across the stage on thursday.

Joey said...

I pretty much feel the same about college now. Theres like nothing I'm gonna miss from here.

I'm gonna be free in another three weeks.

w00t!

Catherine said...

What does the "G" stand for?

Jordiekins said...

@Catherine: it is, most obviously, Ghettofabulous.

Faith said...

Congratulations. I'm so jealous. I have two years left. FAIL.

Thinkoutloud77 said...

So you've graduated. Congrats!! I've heard it's quite and awesome experience. You survived! I also heard that's quite hard to do. Do you have any advice for those still in high school? How did you survive? What are your best tips for causing total raucus, mayhem, and having crazy amounts of fun? Any tips to just SURVIVE high school without going totally crazy?

colleen said...

I'm so relieved I don't have to sing an alma mater song. I don't think I could do it and still have a friendly conscious.

Haley said...

You know, I didn't feel anything as I walked across the stage, either. Weird, isn't it?

MmM CyNtHiA, OpInAnDo said...

Woooow I Love Your hair! and those yellow earrings fit you perfect!!!!!
Congratulations Hayley!!!!!!

Lira said...

I don't understand why you're so misanthropic about some of this stuff. I graduated from high school on Sunday, and sure, high school totally sucked sometimes, but it wasn't the relentlessly horrific hellhole that you make it out to be. Why don't you look at the bright side of things sometimes?

Leah said...

Graduations kind of never mean anything. Personally, I mean. They're always for other people. I cried at Shana's college graduation, but I sure as hell didn't feel a thing at mine. I played iPod solitaire straight through it, in fact.

Man. I remember the night I got home from my graduation/subsequent party... to:

a) a text message saying you were home from france, but not to call because you were tired
b) a voicemail saying you weren't tired after all, and please call, and
c) yet another text, begging me to come back to my phone.

GOOD TIMES.

But seriously. I know I keep saying it, but... can I have Andrew?

Gavin said...

Wow, that sounds like a looooong graduation. It would have been so funny to yell "SUCKAZZZ!". My Graduation actually had a funny moment like that:

Before accepting the award we had to line up in a slightly dark corner, then ascend some stairs and walk across the stage… My friend walked up the stairs with his bare arse hanging out, in front of all the teachers, parents and extended family members and proceeded to walk across stage, grab his certificate and run out the other door. I’ll admit it’s a pretty childish thing to do, mooning people, but I thought it was a hilarious way to exit high school. It also made the whole boring ordeal worthwhile for those of us not cool enough to make a speech.

Kristen said...

Saw the video today, but couldn't comment thanks to maintenance, and I thought it was both hilarious and informative. People often think I'm quiet or just plain rude because I absolutely hate to make small talk, but I honestly don't see the point of me saying something of no value. Oh, and my graduation was interesting also, we had to have it in the horribly humid gym thanks to a thunderstorm that caused the lights to go out during the principal's speech. I agree with the not feeling anything at graduation. I think I smiled once when the hired photographer took the required "graduate receives diploma shot." Okay, done now. Congrats Haley!

shakethedust said...

I love the chocolate bunny song!

Congrats on surviving high school, officially.

Kristina said...

I am the most emotional person ever who cries at EVERYTHING (my brother's fifth grade graduation, charlotte's web.. etc) but I felt nothing at my high school graduation either. It was spooky. I remember sitting in the stadium thinking "this is the last time I will sit in a giant mass with these people" and it just... made me shrug.


Now if I had to graduate youtube or something... that would be a whole different story.

TL said...

Hi Hayley, congrats on graduating high school! Normally I wouldn't comment because I feel like I am just repeating what everyone else said, but not too many people have commented yet. So your school is really called Hell High School? No wonder you wanted to get out of there. I graduated last year, and I thought I would cry at my graduation because I am just like that, but surprisingly I didn't feel much of anything either. I remember it was really windy and we had to hold our hats as we walked across the stage. And the speeches were pretty typical and boring. But you only graduate high school once, right? Good times...lol.

I really wanted to come to Lauren's show tomorrow, but unfortunately it's 4 hours away and my Mom didn't want me to go. I have never been to a wizard rock show, and I would have loved to meet you!

Sorry this is so long. Have a good summer and you'll do great in college!

Haley Bird said...

congrats on breaking free!!!
I think our schools are soulmates... mine might as well be Hell High too.

becca87 said...

Congrats on surviving the ceremony =]
Our robes actually had pockets, which made texting during the ceremony much easier than most would have expected.

See you at the concert tomorrow!!
<3

megkatjo said...

Why did you graduate on a Monday? That's odd.

rustandthestardust said...

what DOES the G stand for?

Krazy_4_Kelly said...

You just made me really excited for my graduation next week XD Congrats on being flippin done! You saying that walking across the stage felt no different than walking from the fridge to the couch will probably be running through my head while graduating. Along with Maureen's suggestions for good valedictorian speeches including a murder mystery game during our THREE speeches (my school has 3 campuses and each have a valedictorian x.x)

I wish I lived in Ohio now...maybe tell Lauren she needs to come to Las Vegas tomorrow. That's be kinda awesome...Have fun being free and going to a wrock concert!

Btw, through youtube's maintenance, I was able to watch your video and crack up laughing from it. Thanks for the laughs =]

The Vagabond said...

Amazing! It's interesting that you didn't feel anything when walking across the stage. I don't think I did either. I remember feeling weird and concerned at the fact that I didn't feel sad or excited or anything like that, but that was about it. Your commencement speech sounded a lot more interesting than ours. Klingon? Bahahaha! Your boyfriendthing sounds awesome.

Congratulations on graduating!!

Katie said...

I don't want a tissue when my nose is runny, I just want a plate and a fork and a bunny!

Veggie Tales FTW.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry for your principal. I appreciate you telling it as it is.

VicMorrowsGhost said...

I got heckled by a teacher during my final speech. I said "I never leave anything to the last minute." and out of the teacher section comes this Nelson-esque (from the Simpsons) "HA!". Geeez.

Anonymous said...

Not very long ago I was wondering if I might have missed out on anything since I never went to a single school dance, or the prom, and skipped my own graduation (they didn't even give us our diplomas at the damn ceremony, they mailed them later). But, you have reassured me that these rights of passage were as pointless and annoying as I thought they would be. I really enjoyed reading about them from someone who reacted pretty much as I would have. Thanks Hayley, you're awesome.
Also, if you and Lauren don't make some kind of video together like you guys did last year with Kristina, I will be so, so sad. They're not boring and we all enjoy them, I promise!

Anonymous said...

Oh and also I meant to say that if I lived anywhere near Ohio, I would so be there! But for those of us who are far away please let us in on it a little? (With a video)

Erin said...

I can't believe you actually said, "Screw all of you!" to your teachers. I'll probably still be sucking up to them on my way out the door. x_x Now I have to wonder, where did you keep your phone while you were graduating? Because most dresses don't have pockets and I didn't think graduation gowns did either.

hfm said...

I was so emotional before my graduation day but when the actual day came, I felt this numbness inside me- I suppose it's the whole clamactic moment of graduation which people overhype.

Rebecca said...

Congrats on graduating! I couldn't wait to get out of my high school too.

Elrich89 said...

Lauren is an exceptionally blessed individual - Fairweather! What a wonderful name she has.

Forgive me Hayley, but you boyfriend does sound...um...perhaps a tad eccentric.

Nothing wrong with eccentricity! ...Unless it eventually hardens into premature senility.

brandi said...

I graduate this friday. I talk about how excited I am for it, but I think it's just because I leave for the beach the day after. I thought I would cry at our senior dinner, and at our Class Day ceremony but I didn't. I didn't feel much of anything at either. I teared up at my class day ceremony because they did something for the girl in our senior class that died. Congrats on getting out of that hell hole and good luck with college.

Megan said...

I spent my whole graduation sitting there worrying about my impending doom because this kid had threatened to shoot up graduation, but they thought they would just let him walk anyway. He didn't, but I was terrified the whole time. However, I definitely had a better time than you in that all our speeches were officially limited to no more than 10 minutes.

Callidora said...

I hated my graduation and consider it one of the worst experiences of my life.
The people that we supposed to walk with me and my friend found new people to walk with as we were lining up meaning that we had to run around trying to find another couple to walk with us. By the time we finally found two others to walk with us I was close to tears and my friend was swearing more than I had ever heard him swear before. I was ready to go home but had to sit through a long and boring speech by some teacher I never had whose speech made no sense at all.

My friend graduates tonight and I am excited to see her get her dipolma. I'll have to try and not cry as I am sure that I will be more emotional tonight than I was two years ago at my graduation.
:o)

A said...

My alma mater:
You've given us the knowledge
Of the thinkers of the past
And empowered us to form our dreams
In a distant vast

That's all I will subject you to. The rest is just as painful.

Gina said...

Though I was super glad to get out of HS, I actually really enjoyed my graduation... there was no singing of forced-school-spirit-songs though, only a few speeches, and I didn't have to wear a cap and gown (my HS does it old school-- floor length white dresses are required). And as much as I didn't like half of my grade, the whole-class all-night graduation party was actually awesome. I definitely understand the relief of being free though!

herfordship said...

whoo hoo! congratulations and all that jazz...

at least you got to rehearse your ceremony...my school decided that there was no need to and we ended up being trapped in the ice skating arena that was attached to the civic center for a lot longer than was required because no one seemed to know how and when we were supposed to line up...yeesh, im still haunted by that period of extreme cold-ness.

Valerie said...

I went to my brother's high school graduation the other day and it was terrible. There are over 900 kids in his class! The ceremony was held at a freaking professional football stadium. So of course all the speeches were echoing across the staudium, making it impossible to understand (well, I wasn't really listening anyways). And then we had the HOUR of what was basically roll call. I wanted to shoot myself.

Good luck in college and here's to hoping it's loads better than high school!

Nokorola said...

First of all Hayley, good job making the best of what seems like a ceremony tens of times worse than mine.

also, "embarra-barfed" is my new favorite word.

also the 2nd, I'm so glad you mentioned VeggieTales again after such a long absence.

Enjoy you summer HayleyAHoover

Rachel said...

Good for you! Finally getting out of that place must have been so great for you. It would've been HILARIOUS if you'd shouted "SUCAZZZ!" and then ran away. And on the subject of Andrew, wow. You must be so proud. Really. 'Live Long and Prosper'? Awesome. [=

Ben said...

You have a really weird boyfriend(thing).

p.s As I typed that I accidentally smashed a fruit bowl. Oops.

Anonymous said...

"SCREW ALL OF YOU!"
hahahahahahahaha thanks for the great post =]

**have a sparkling day**

<33

lindsey said...

Congratulations you have overcome Hell High School!
Have fun with Lauren. I'm jealous.

Anonymous said...

"negro spiritual tune"?

aubriane said...

Although I do love to watch your videos- I enjoy reading your comments much, much more.
My goodness. I didn't know small talk was such a sensitive subject! I mean, you could MEET the LOVE of your LIFE if you make enough small talk! You could be missing OPPORTUNITIES, Hayley! "But no you snicker like a bitch"[hahahahahaha].
Sheesh.
Also, thank you, anonymous, for repeating "negro spiritual tune" for us.

tyrannosauruslexxx said...

When I left high school I was naive enough to still expect that it'd be a moving, inspirational experience and that I'd go home that night and write a novel or cure a disease or something.

All I actually did was eat jaffa cakes and watch Lord of the Rings.

Kelly said...

Congrats!!!

This reminds me of my graduation.. which was only a year ago. But it was pretty awful. I'm not sure how many people go to your school, but we had 500 students in my graduating class, and I was in the second to last row... so by the time I got up there, everyone was way tired of clapping and cheering.
I live in the south so the weather was miserable in a different, sticky/hot way.
When I went down the steps to step off the stage my assistant principal said "Here is your transition into your adult life.... oh! Its over."

I guess I'm telling you this to show you it could be worse.

Also, at my high school, they played our Alma Mater every morning... and I don't remember it AT ALL. Then again, it wasn't in the normal tune that alma maters usually have... but still, don't worry, if you're anything like me, you'll forget it eventually.

kira902k said...

Congrats on finally getting out of your prison!!

Hopefully, I won't feel the same way when I graduate. I'd like to feel a little pride/sadness, even though school does suck, a lot.

Anyways, have fun as a free woman!!
:)

A.J. James Brooks said...

I have said it before and I will say it again!
Hayley G Hoover makes the internet better!!!

LemonScented said...

"...but feeling a thousand eyes reading my reactions made me sort of want to vomit."
Ha, reminded me of the last episode of Gossip Girl.

lovethetube said...

In the UK we don't have graduations, we just kind of leave :) So I will be graduating for the first time next year from university, I will be 21. I always wondered if we brits missed out on anything by not having the rites of passage you Americans have at highschool but after reading your blog post I'm not sure we missed out on much!! :)

Hope your summer is full of great times and that you enjoy college much more then you did highschool :)

Rachael

Geez Louise said...

I adore how truthful you were about graduation Hayley. We have the same sense of humour, haha.
Also, did you really say "Screw you all" to some teachers?!
THAT'S BRILLIANT.
I graduated high school in 2007, and whilst we don't do the cap/gown thing here in Australia, it was fairly similar... We had a chapel service followed by a fairwell assembly which did actually make me cry, not becuase I was going to miss school that much, more so my friends and some of the teachers who became friends.
Yep.
Well thats my thoughts.
Nice blog! :)

inkstainedpages said...

Congrats on surviving high school, Hayley! Have fun at Lauren's concert!!

89ravenclaw said...

KLINGON! This guy is getting better everyday! Stop being embarrassed on account of awesome. Stop letting people you don't even care about make you fill embarrassed.

Hannah Missouri said...

I had to play in the "Graduation Band" for my school's graduation. Somehow, Pomp and Circumstance is not as special on this end.

But congratulations to you! Enjoy the freedom.

Katy J said...

YES! I'm so glad you're done. I will always enjoy a good Veggietales reference. :D Enjoy your freedom, chica and have a blast at the show! :D <3

nikmarie64 said...

I believe thanks are in order. I was sitting there the other day, feeling super depressed for the first time in a long while. I randomly decided to look through some blogs (because reading about other peoples' lives is infinitely more interesting than focusing on my own haha), and voila, I came across yours.

They made me laugh so much, and the ones that were more sad made me feel less alone. And they definitely kept me entertained- my roommate and I had a lot of fun watching the old ABBA videos & the new Taylor Swift one. Your commentary is hilarious, and says so many things I feel but can't put into words.

I was having a horrible day, and it really cheered me up. Can't explain how much I appreciate it. It seems silly, but little things go a long, long way.

To think I was so impressed by your videos- your blog is even more amazing! Keep on doing what you do. Congrats on graduation. I'm facing my own impending college graduation next week (I'm only feeling slightly nauseous), so we'll see how it goes.

Thanks for making a difference in my day.

Kaitlyn said...

The lyrics to my high school's alma mater are so bad that no one ever sings them. In fact, most people don't even know them. I feel like I should share at least the first half-stanza:

Reaching upward, ever soaring,
Eagles of ____ High.
Faith and love and Christian teaching,
Silver clouds on blue.

WTF?! Those lyrics make no sense, and they don't even rhyme!

Anonymous said...

You. Are. Genius.

robynnealane said...

I'm totally reading this way late, but I thought you might appreciate my high school's alma mater.

http://smjuhsd.k12.ca.us/~sdavis/images/rhsalmamater1.jpg

We're done, though. Isn't it nice? :)

Daisy said...

Congratulations! Lol, "SCREW ALL OF YOU!" Too funny.

And a boyfriendthing who speaks Klingon? That is nerdtastically epically awesome. Also, so is the fact that the computer I'm using says that Klingon is a word. I love the 21st century.