Dear Class of 2020
Dear Class of 2020,
Congratulations to all high school graduates! Fifty years ago, I, too, was a Senior in high school, although not graduating until 1971. Nonetheless, in 1970, I was in my last academic year of high school. Now that I have the perspective of fifty years and especially as a retired educator, please let me take a moment to offer a few thoughts.
Even under these extreme circumstances, I know you all are proud to receive your diplomas. You have not left school behind, really, because you are now entering “Life School.” You are about to enter the largest school of all. And I am not speaking of Georgia’s oldest institution of higher learning, the University of Georgia (38,920 enrollment), Georgia State University (53,000+ enrollment) , Georgia Tech (36,489 enrollment), or one of the youngest and yet third largest school in the state, Kennesaw State University (almost 38,000 enrollment). You are entering the school of life. Instead of classrooms, you’ll have offices, factories, and other professions. Instead of teachers, faculty, and administrators, you’ll have superiors, supervisors, business, and religious leaders of the community. Exams and grades will not be held at regular schedules like what you are accustomed to, but there will be exams and your “grades” will be posted for everyone to see.
You will find all of school in life. It will take doing your homework to be successful. You’ll find surprise quizzes when sudden problems arise and require mature judgment. The school spirit you once had for your hometown school will now be for America itself. The extracurricular activities which you enjoyed so much will now be based around your future families and social get-togethers.
Our school board cannot provide you with a routine graduation ceremony during this pandemic. You are the Seniors born the year of the September 11, 2001 terror attacks – the morning when there were four coordinated attacks by the Islamic terrorist group al-Qaeda against the United States. Those of us who remember 9/11 had our world changed forever as your world was just beginning. Now this virus has affected us, and you, again. You can still be genuinely proud of your accomplishments and know with all your reserve, the commodity not needed for immediate use but available if required, will go with you for any future contest, conflict, or dispute. Your graduating class is made of strong stuff.
Don’t forget that the next “school bell” that rings will find you “in class” for the “required course” in ADULTHOOD, where the tests you are given will determine your future forever! So be glad that you’ve passed high school but remember not to flunk your future.
With Regards (and written tongue in cheek),
Lee St. John #1 Amazon Humor Writer
Lee St. John