23 May 2011


Filed under: Reflections — ktismatics @ 9:50 am

Farewell the neighing steed and the shrill trump,
The spirit-stirring drum, th’ear-piercing fife,
The royal banner, and all quality,
Pride, pomp, and circumstance of glorious war!

– Othello, Act III, Scene III

See that kid, fifth row, fourth from the far end? That’s our daughter Kenzie! I don’t know how much pomp and circumstance surround high school graduation in other countries, but this is how it’s done in the US of A, dammit. Unfortunately, Elgar’s name is spelled “Elger” in the Commencement program. In fairness, however, it should also be noted that the name of the school newspaper is The Royal Banner.

Oh what the hell…



  1. This is divine, because you had such a good time, and the photo is really GREAT. I can’t see Kenzie or anybody else exactly, but I feel that my soul is slightly redeemed because I usually can’t care about people’s children that much, and this photo is like an extension, in some strange illegal-dance art-way, with her strange epicene drawings. You may have to insert an arrow if you want us to be able to get all gooey about this the way you are…I had a ‘bad attitude’ about my high school graduation, and didn’t go to either Juilliard ceremony, which was none too politic.
    Congratulations to all of the Doyle Family, that giant confetti (or napkins?) really works for a great photo. And you’re not even at a Reverend Moon Rally! You’re in Radio Free Europe!


    Comment by illegal dances of new york city — 23 May 2011 @ 11:23 am

  2. Yes, Anne really captured the exuberance in this shot, and we did have a great time. Those are the mortarboards being hurled skyward by the jubilant graduates. We couldn’t distinguish K from here either; only when she took the stage, her name was announced, and she accepted the diploma in left hand whilst shaking the educator’s hand with the right were we able to identify her as an individual. The students’ speeches — a half-dozen or so, limited to 2 minutes each — were delivered with flair, the band and orchestra performed admirably, and mercifully the Principal kept a lid on his obligatory dronings.


    Comment by ktismatics — 23 May 2011 @ 11:49 am

    • …I added a family photo to the post.


      Comment by ktismatics — 23 May 2011 @ 1:57 pm

      • That’s marvelous too, I showed it to Jack. I think Anne and Kenzie could do Ivory Girl commercials of those sort where the mother looked only ever-so-slightly older than the daughter, but I think they’re supposed to work those by doing the same hair colour and even style–maybe even the clothes, so it will look both natural and artificial–at the same time! I can’t think of anything more aesthetic than ‘naturally artificial’, and look for it in all my trysts…

        I had to look closely, though, as I first thought that car or SUV was a helicopter, since all I care about these days is more stealth missions and appalling materials that know how to evade radar. There was some material on an old transistor radio I had in the mid-60s that had the most repellently unnatural smoothness to it. Also, on my charge card that has a ‘grace period’, when you ‘pay-by-phone’ they still have the robot change registers if you’re late: You’re supposed to pay, say, but the 17th, but you ‘pay-by-phone’ on the 21st, and the robot still says ‘please make your payment by March 17th’, and that is in a voice that no human speaks, which is appropriate, considering that they know at some level that it’s the 21st perfectly well. But they’re not going to admit it. I think I’m going to check this month and see if the sound is the same if you pay early or on time. This is the only thing I can pay with some 10 days’ grace period, anything else you get a late fee after the prescribed date.

        Nice family, I must indeed say. Kenzie looks like you, but the wardrobe design, coiffure have something of what you see in the drawings.


        Comment by illegal dances of new york city — 23 May 2011 @ 6:57 pm

  3. Hey,

    Congratulations to Kenzie! You and Anne look justly proud.


    Comment by NB — 24 May 2011 @ 5:36 am

  4. Of course A and I had to explain the Ivory soap commercial reference to K, but yes, Anne has retained her girlish good looks. When K was little she began drawing fashions for how she would look in high school, and by and large she has retained that aesthetic. Usually her hair is taller and spikier, but she had to accommodate the mortarboard. We are proud of her: she excelled, and she says that she enjoyed her entire high school experience.

    In yesterday’s post K received a congratulations packet from my father. Included was the Commencement program from his own high school graduation: the class of ’42 at New Bedford (MA) High School. The show begins with the Elgar processional, but then there’s a prayer led by the Monsignor and a group responsorial Lord’s Prayer — this at a public high school. Instead of student speeches there was an invited address by the president of the Boston Edison electric company. Individual student awards and scholarships were handed out, whereas at K’s school the tradition of identifying valedictorian and so on has been scrapped. In my father’s program each graduate is listed by curriculum: college classical, college scientific, college general, civic, commercial, unclassified. The curricular hierarchy no longer existed even when I was in high school, though of course it’s always clear who was on the “college prep” track versus the “shop kids.” Students graduating cum laude, magna, and summa were identified in ’42, and that recognition persists in ’11. In both cohorts about two-thirds of the honors students were girls.


    Comment by ktismatics — 24 May 2011 @ 10:11 am

  5. Congratulations! Yes, as you wisely point out, graduating high school is indeed a big deal in the US – it would be like celebrating literacy or ability to dress yourself in other countries…


    Comment by Михаил Емельянов — 25 May 2011 @ 12:53 am

    • Mikeheal youse flies is undoned.


      Comment by NB — 25 May 2011 @ 4:15 am

  6. In France we could tell that another year of collège had come to an end when most of the teachers stopped showing up for class. In lycée everything points to “le bac,” but since results aren’t released until sometime in the summer I presume there is no big celebration. I imagine it’s much the same in GB with the A-levels. In Russia I don’t know. K’s high school offers an extensive International Baccalaureate curriculum, which as I understand it is mostly an American scheme for emulating these European test-based indicators of achievement. But the IB tests are administered not at the end of high school but when the preparatory coursework for each particular subject has been completed; e.g., K took the IB US history exam after her second year of high school. Also, university acceptances are decided in the spring, long before graduation and even longer before the last round of standardized tests have been graded. By the time graduation rolls around the individual pressure is off and the group celebration is on. Even though the dropout rate at this high school is in the single digits and almost all the graduates go on to university, there seemed to be no less enthusiasm for the commencement ceremony than if only a select few made it to the end.


    Comment by ktismatics — 25 May 2011 @ 7:36 am

  7. Congratulations Eloise, Kenzie looks gorgeous, and so do mom and dad.


    Comment by parody center — 27 May 2011 @ 4:40 pm

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: