Tomorrow is my cousin's graduation party.
HS graduation, which I'm a little ambivalent about.
I do have a sordid history with this so bear with me.
The year was 1998.
I was a senior in high school, but being the over achiever that I was, I actually graduated in January. College wasn't going to pay for itself, and I had a job that, thankfully, was willing to give me extra hours so I could save up. It seemed more economical to work rather than stay in school, for what...the memories? False.
I worked with most of my friends anyway, and I ran with an older crowd, so I was kind of done with the whole HS experience.
Since I technically graduated in January, I thought I could skip the whole walking-across-the-stage thing.
While I didn't HATE high school, I didn't LOVE it. It was my means for going to college, which I did love.
But then my mom, in a weird maternal moment, states that I have to walk across the stage, because while I'm living there, I follow their rules (seriously? You're exercising that rule NOW?!?). So I had to fork over money for a gown, which I wasn't happy about.
And SINCE I was forced to walk across said stage, I assumed I would get to take part in the grad party tradition that all of my friends were having.
I had heard the tales: people getting enough money to pay for their books their freshman year; getting a car, maybe a trip to like Mexico or Florida.
I broached the topic with my mom and quite realistically she said, "Why should you have a party? What is there to celebrate? You finished High School. We'll throw you a party when you finish college. People up here [rural Wisconsin] don't go to college so high school is a big deal."
While I do agree with most of that statement, I was still extraordinarily jealous of my college-bound friends who got cash-money, or at least some good presents.
In all fairness my family did have some type of family picnic which I guess could have doubled for a grad party, as I think there might have been a cake that said "Congrats." But I could be conjuring the cake up. I do know this. I got some "presents." And I use this term incredibly loosely:
1. used tape deck, like that could hold 100 cassette tapes.
2. economy sized box of tampons.
Okay, to be honest, helpful, but seriously? As a present?
3. card with $5 in it.
Those were three separate gifts people, from three separate relatives.
In all honesty, my parents weren't totally cruel. In fact, I would venture to guess that my parents were the coolest, much like Dr. LeFeber.
Case in point:
My friend LN and I wanted desperately to take a road trip to Cleveland.
I know, totally dorky, but the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame was there and we are rock nerds.
So I had been trying to convince my parents to let us go and they had said no, but FINALLY said they would drive us if we would pay for gas. This seemed like a pretty sweet deal and we agreed to it.
After an amazing trip (seriously, I still think it was one of the most fun trips I've ever taken), my parents surprised us and said we didn't have to pay for gas (we were going to pay them back over the course of the summer).
So I guess my graduation wasn't without SOME type of gift, and my bestie got in on the deal as well.
But to this day, I agree with my mom.
If high school wasn't some epic academic or social struggle for you, shouldn't it be EXPECTED that you graduate, you finish your education with the bare minimum of academic skills?
I have a friend who is the principal (or maybe asst. principal?) of an urban Milwaukee school.
She was going on and on about the EIGHTH grade graduation.
The way people were gussied, swooned over, celebrated, etc.
Upon crossing the stage, KM told the students, "Congratulations, you've completed, a grade."
Which I think is perfect.
Anyway, my cousin, EB, is one of those who LOVES high school.
Was in sports, choir, lots of friends, the whole nine.
So it wasn't a schocker that she was having a graduation party.
While I knew of this party a while ago, I have been very busy reading and blogging.
I've just been incredibly lazy.
But I hadn't yet procured a gift for this party, nor had I any idea what I was going to make as it was a pseudo potluck.
So I called my aunt to ask what she still needed for college, and if I was supposed to bring something.
She called me back to tell me I had agreed to make a veggie pizza like a month ago, and asking me if I could make some mixed cds for the party.
Of course I obliged.
When one has a gift, one needs to share their gift with the world.
Unfortunately my gift is making cds.
With other people's music.
That evening we decided to take part in the Milwaukee film scene and head to the Alchemist Theater for a bi-monthly event produced by Firestarter Films.
It's basically a very informal film festival. People show their shorts (I believe there is a 10 minute max?) and then the audience gets to critique the film!
How had I missed this before?!
Most, if not all, films are made locally, or by local artists.
And I have to say, the quality of work was quite good.
There were some kids showing stuff they did (cute and what good parents to know about this!), some people showing old work, and then of course the reason I was there:
E's "New Day" trailer.
[sorry these are facebook links, but I couldn't find non-fb links...besides, who doesn't have a flipping fb page?]
I have to say I was a really good audience member, supporting the theater with three glasses of wine (all proceeds go to the theater!), filling out critiques for all the films, signing the poster.
It was a really good time. $5 gets you in for a good 3 hours (with breaks, due to the number of people there, they have to break the showings into groups) of film talk, short films, and supporting Milwaukee film, which I think is incredibly important. Plus the drinks are reasonable.
The trailer that links above is a bit different than the one I viewed.
I wasn't sure the original trailer gave enough of the story away, which I dictated to the director face to face. Everyone close to the film (besides E) thought that it perhaps gave too much away.
I was trying to be objective because I had read the script so I knew what the movie was about, but I don't know if the trailer did a good enough job conveying that. I think the one above, does a better job.
And to be honest, I'm sure I'm not their target audience.
But I was asked my opinion, and I gave it.