This is a painful post to be sure. It is painful because it is about someone I consider to be a friend, but I have to make it because I agree with the sentiment.
Picture this, there I sat in the Allen Event Center in a crappy back row for my niece's graduation. We were mighty proud of her as she graduated in the top 10% of her class with honors out the wazoo. We were disheartened though, because the seats were less than stellar. In fact, they were pretty crappy especially considering that there were row upon row much closer that were empty. I don't know who passed these seats out to the students, but the back was packed and the sides closer up were empty. The seats were so bad they made me thankful we had awesome seats for my own son's graduation, but I digress.
Because the seats were so crappy, I spent my time watching the video screen overhead. About half way through the procession of graduates as they appeared on stage to be handed the very thing they coveted for the last 12 years, I receive the following text from a good friend:
"Watching East's graduation. What's with Barbara Goss and other board members hugging on kids? They didn't do that in the other graduation. I know she's your friend but that looked kind of unprofessional coming from a school board member and the other ones too."
I can tell you this friend who wrote to me isn't involved in any of the political antics I write about in my blog, in fact I'm not sure she even votes to be honest, and I'm pretty sure she has never gone to a council meeting unless she was forced to for something with her kids. The simple fact is, my friend was right in that it looked really tacky.
Now I love Barbara Goss with a passion, but when I saw Joe Stooksberry and Barbara running up there to hand out diplomas to their special pals, I was really flabbergasted. In my opinion, a specific pomp and circumstance should be adhered to just for a certain fluidity of the event. It was awkward at best to have people cutting in as Stacy Gooch was attempting to hand out diplomas. The kiss and cry even stopped the flow at times. Simply put, it looked Podunk.
Now I can vehemently avow that I am not a fan of Stacy Gooch. A good friend of mine once told me that when he looks at her, he imagines her hopping in a Toyota Four Runner and popping in a tape of some sort of tampon rock. Despite that rather descriptive image, she is after all the President of the Board of Education for WISD and because of that, she deserves a certain amount of respect. In my opinion, it was a bit disrespectful to her for people to keep bobbing in and out of the line, hugging and kissing the graduates and even grabbing diplomas off the stack to hand out instead of her. Can you imagine Gooch standing up there feeling a tad jaded by the whole chaotic scene? I mean, she has earned the right to be the one to pass them out. She was voted President by her peers. Do they disrespect her that much?
Am I thrilled that Gooch was the one to hand my own son his diploma earlier in the evening instead of my friend Goss? Hells no, because I think Gooch is a tosser who is only in it for her real estate business, but it is what it is and it wasn't what it should have been with all the bee bopping around on stage.
Did Trustee Goss run at top speed across the stage that whole evening just because certain students wanted HER to be the ONE? Well I get it, but it was still highly unprofessional. All one need to do is watch the video of the graduation to see what I mean. It was so distracting as I watched it on the large, overhead screen that I kept looking at the stage in wonderment. If I were an East parent who bought that DVD, I would be a bit miffed at how chaotic it appeared on film. In the overhead all I could see were heads bobbing in and out and you had no idea who was passing what out.
Think about it. How ridiculous would it look if Trustee Westhora kept running up there along with Trustees Goss, Goff, Herzog, Leggett, and Stooksberry just because they felt THEY should be the ones to pass out the diploma to their special little peep? What a total cluster that would be with people running at top speed across the stage, tripping over each other. Can we say stooges?
Conversely, how do the graduates feel who didn't get such a special privilege? The rotating cast of characters was totally inappropriate no matter how you slice it.
I can only hope that in the future, a rule is made so that we don't have future graduations looking like the running of the bulls as this one did.
Now I know this won't be my most popular post among readers because Goss is highly popular in town. But I must call a spade a spade and I will not pretend that it was OK just because she is my friend. Just my three cents worth thanks to inflation.