Mirrored with permission from Outpost Nine and Azrael

Yet Another Graduation

I went to yet another graduation ceremony.

I think I mentioned last time that Japanese graduations are designed to make you cry uncontrollably. While that's still all true, there's one important aspect I totally forgot - they're also designed to bore you into a catatonic, vegetable-like coma.

They play music while the graduates get the diplomas...and while it's sad, piano/violin music meant to make people weepy, it also does a wonderful job of putting you to sleep. This is like the salad before they hit you with the main course. After the presentation of the diplomas, the principal gets up and says some standard graduation stuff. Probably any one of you could get up and do it. ...In Japanese. It's that brainless. Then, some bigshot from the board of education gets up and gives a speech. ...Which is more or less EXACTLY THE SAME as the speech the principal just gave. Except that the board of education bigshot doesn't really give a shit because he's never seen these kids before in his entire life. And the kids don't give a shit because he's boring old man #1 (well, #2 if you count the principal) and yet one more obstacle until they're freed from this hell and get to go home and on vacation (and since they're Japanese, vacations are few and far between). Then, some bigshot from the PTA gets up and gives a speech. Oh, you KNOW the PTA was going to have a hand in this. I'm surprised the principal didn't bow down and kiss his hand before the speech.

Anyway, Don PTA-san gives his speech, which is EXACTLY THE SAME as the speech the board of education bigshot AND the principal just gave. Despite being PTA, he may not actually have any kids in the graduating class. ...The Don-PTA at my school looked really old (he had to have three people help him up on stage) so unless he was still an active little sex-beaver at the tender age of 60, I doubt he had any kids in the school. Does it matter? Fuck no, cause he's the Don-fucking-PTA. He probably had some of the other teachers waxing his car while he spoke.

One more bigshot speaks, I dunno who he was or what relation he had to anything (probably none), as far as I can tell his only purpose was to drag the ceremony out and torture the kids (and subsequently, all of us) as much as humanly possible. "Suffer! Suffer cretin dogs! Suffer because you are Japanese! And you Mr. Gaijin, you shall suffer because you are not Japanese!" I'd love to tell you more about this speech, but I don't remember it because I was asleep. I kind of almost felt bad about that, but I looked down the row of other teachers to see some of them nodding off too. You would have to be super-human to actually stay awake the whole time. Dead people would revive themselves for the sole purpose of going to sleep. I found myself wishing the teacher next to me would chew off her own arm and then start beating me with it. At least I could go "Hey, look at this shit!" and actually stay awake. ...Maybe.

The ceremony finally came to a crawling, pathetic, lethargic halt. Unlike last year, the kids this time around were a lot more stoic and there wasn't nearly as much crying. This group was rather low-key, the general attitude was "yeah, graduation, whatever, onto high school." Although at the School of Peace, I'd bet there were enough waterworks to sail a boat down. And at the Ghetto School...I'm wondering who hit who or which idiot kid decided to ride their (customed low-rider) bicycle through the ceremony. ...It may not have been that extreme though. My first year here I went to the graduation at the Ghetto School, and the kids that year were real ass-clowns. Yet they all managed to hold it in long enough to get through the ceremony at least. ...After the ceremony was another story of course...

Mother: Now that you've graduated, you need to find work.
Girl: Shut up you crackhead whore.
Father: Hey, don't talk to your mother that way!
Girl: You shut up too you fat piece of shit.

.....I'm really not making this up...

But at least the ceremony went off without any problems. I did notice some kids there I'd simply never seen before - they'd more or less just dropped out of school, and only showed up just to get their diplomas. So I am kind of curious about how the Ghetto Graduation went...but not curious enough to actually attend. I'll ask Ms. Americanized later.

Afterwards was the obligatory picture time. Some girls came up to me and asked for a picture, for which I of course agreed. There are no Snuzzlebunnies in this group, so no accidental gropings to worry about this time around. As I was posing in front of the camera with the girls, my eyes met up with...Him. You know who. His eyes met up with mine, and instantly I just knew, the time had come. It's been 3 long years, but at last we've reached the Final Battle - Azrael vs Watson.......

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