by Rex Keyes – A recent newspaper article in California stated that more high school students are graduating because they are getting better grades. Some people have said that the reason for the higher graduating statistics is that the standards for graduation have been lowered which means less students flunking out. Whatever the reason is, an incident in a Los Angeles school district might shed some light on the subject.
There was a high school quarterback that was very popular at school because he played so well that the school won a lot of games. But, he wasn’t as good in the classroom. In fact, his grades were so poor he did not have enough credits to graduate. He being so popular, the student body petitioned the principal of the school to allow him to graduate anyway. The school principal had high academic standards and not wanting to set an example that just anyone with bad grades could just get off the hook and get a diploma sent a letter to the whole student body. In the letter it said that there will be a meeting in the high school auditorium and he will ask the high school football player one question. If he answers it correctly, he will graduate.
The day of the meeting came and the auditorium was packed. The principal who was up on the stage called the football player to come forward. Over the speaker he reiterated to the football player that if he answered this one question correctly he would graduate. In the whole auditorium there was dead silence. “Ok, the question is what is 7 times 4.” The football player was silent; he looked down and put his hand to his chin contemplating the answer. Finally, after about 30 seconds, he looked up at the principal and said: “I believe the answer is 28.” For a couple of seconds the whole student body was silent, and then they began to shout out loud, “give him another chance, give him another chance!!”
Then there is the toughest school of all. It is a school everyone goes through. And if one doesn’t watch, listen and learn from this school, the consequences can be tough. That school is called, “The School of Hard Knocks.” It is an old term which means where one learns from their everyday experiences. This school goes on for the rest of one’s life. For instance, if one makes an error on their income taxes, then they get charged a penalty. Eat too much candy as a kid and there is the possibility of getting a tummy ache. Talk back to your boss and you will be on unemployment. Exceed the speed limit with a black and white motorcycle parked by the side of the road and a man pointing a device at you and you will get a speeding ticket. Tease your cat and you will get scratched. Wash your car in winter and it will probably rain the next day. Forget to pick up Foolish Times the first week of the month when it comes out and they will all be gone when you come back.
And finally, a lot of the kids’ attitude in school can best be described by the video of the song “Break the Rules” by Charli XCX. And if you go way back in time there is the song by Alice Cooper called, “School’s Out for Summer” which expresses the students’ relief upon graduation from high school. Good ole Alice Cooper.
Congratulations on graduation and welcome to the 40 hour work week.