By Jillian Fontaine | Beacon 7th-grade intern
When the Bass Lake High School Marching Canoes launched into “Poor, Unsuccessful and Fat” instead of “Pomp and Circumstance” it was clear this was going to be no ordinary graduation ceremony.
Forget for a moment that “Poor, Unsuccessful and Fat” was also the theme of this year’s senior prom, and focus instead on the not so subtle implication that a Bass Lake High School diploma is not worth the paper it’s written on.
At least that what band director Stewart “Stu” Nesmith, 68, told me when I asked him about the music selection.
“It wasn’t my idea,” he said. “The kids came up with that all by themselves. They’ve seen what happens to people after they leave here. They’re dumb, sure. But they’re not that dumb.”
But some of the graduates, many of whom also attended BLHS, think otherwise.
“Not sure who that is,” said three-time senior Ann Yuerism. “Wait. What are we talking about? I’m feeling dizzy.”
As lead trumpet player in the marching band, Trevor Hornsby brings a unique perspective to the debate. Hornsby, a SINO (senior in name only), thinks director Nesmith is behind the song switch but doesn’t really understand why it matters.
“He’s not that bright,” Hornsby said. “Most of what he says comes from stuff he sees on late night TV when the static clears. I rarely listen to him.”
Still, the show must go on and so it did. After the music stopped, 45 proud students strutted across the stage and collected their diplomas. Even Yuerism, who got lost on her way.
“I did it,” she said, clutching her degree. “I found the stage.”
In a related item, the Michiana Regional Board of Education has yet to approve an accreditation application for Bass Lake High School, citing “unknown reasons.”
So while the diplomas are real, they may be worthless. Time will tell.