Sunday, September 07, 2003

Hear Ye, Hear Ye, Hear Ye

Convocation today, the usual pomp and circumstance. I'm a big fan of ritual -- not merely, as religion teacher and newly-ordained minister Ted suggested during the pre-event milling-around, for love of ritual itself, but most especially because I find the potential for interesting chaos to be heightened significantly when so many people have so much stake in such an ordered program. Ceremonies such as these are often arenas where small mistakes make big waves: the instantaneous visibility of persona and pride on a full community scale prime the pump, as it were, for moments to become, in-an-instant, part of a community memory.

On that scale, today was a bit disappointing. Other than a few easily-rectified program sequencing errors from the head of school, school songs went smoothly, the orchestra and chorus performing at a near-professional level, and everyone actually waited for the last row of seniors to get up for their recession before storming the exits, as requested. Lucky for Loki-lovers, there's plenty of ceremony in prep school life; surely, the next event will better serve my impish nature.

Subjectively speaking, the most striking aspect of this annual formal opening of the school year was the Senior class, who in formal clothes marched in slow procession past the faculty gauntlet to sit front and center, where they were easily visible from our own seats in the balcony. I remember teaching most members of this class, and they seem too young to be seniors -- indeed, despite their stiff shirts and spring dresses, and in most cases a few more inches of height or bustline, these could be the same raw prep school recruits I taught and mentored four falls ago. It's as if their movement in time has been an illusion; as if, for me, they will always be freshmen. I must be getting old, or at least settling in.


New from Reed College freshman Will Henderson, a recent NMH and Media Literacy alum: lifebeat: rhapsodies of a young college boy. The blog comes to us courtesy of the MT-served Reedie Journals service, which I covet thoroughly, and if Will's student papers and projects last year are any indication, it -- the blog, not the service, though the sentiment surely applies there as well -- promises to be coherent, creative, and perceptive.

posted by boyhowdy | 2:30 PM |

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