This Year’s Senior Project: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

I am the senior class advisor this year. The last time I was in charge, our tragi-comedy Othello, with an all male cast (shout out!), rocked the house—and not one, but two! nights in a row!

Will I be able to outdo myself this year? Will the class of 2019 beat the class of 2015 in terms of entertainment and maybe even money raised? No one knows yet…

What I do know is that we’re putting in a lot of work, and maybe more than the last time. But I knew what I was doing then. I’d taught Othello so many times I could direct it in my sleep. This year’s project, Senior Night Live, a take on Saturday Night Live, is proving to be a tough gig to pull off. Wowza.

Here are some teasers—the good, bad, and the ugly—of the show so far, but let’s go in reverse order so that we end on a good note, okay?

The UGLY

Rehearsals. Are. A. Beeotch. (This is the ugly part, so I can vent misspelled profanity.) Imagine, if you will, trying to get about 30 kids (seniors, no less—y’know, the squirrelly ones) to not only show up for a half hour rehearsal in the cafeteria when they have tests to study for, papers to write, and projects to complete, but to also get them to be quiet while others practice their skits.  All while other people come and go, hallway traffic and door slamming interrupts, and loudspeaker announcements bombard. I feel like I’m advising, no coaching, no herding students here and there, shouting commands, and delegating responsibilities to those who might be listening, but I just don’t know. The skits, several in number and all SNL favorites, are hilarious, if we can pull them off without a hitch. Right now, the hitch is that they are all just plain….UGLY. No one knows their lines, and no one knows where to stand, how to sit, what to say, or where to look. And who the heck is going to run the sound? Where are their costumes? Props, people!!! Why don’t you have them? THE SHOW IS NEXT WEEK. And here we are, on a cafeteria stage, not even the show’s venue, trying to prepare to wow and knock off socks.

The BAD

Most years that I’ve helped with the senior project, students are gung-ho in October to generate project ideas and vote on them, and they even get excited once we know what we’re doing. The talk is big, and everyone has something he wants to do to take part. We plan and we plan and we plan, and the talk gets bigger and bigger and bigger, and then, BOOM. It’s a month before the project, usually in mid to late February, and snow days and senioritis have driven a wedge into enthusiasm and goals and energy, and all of the sudden! The seniors just can’t commit to helping. Sports are ending. Others are beginning. Scholarships are due. What about work? Everyone is busy. No one can practice or help. And a select few kids take on the brunt of the project. This year has been no different—except that I have a core group who is going to make this work. And that leads me to …

The GOOD

My seniors—the ones you will be laughing at next Saturday, March 16, at 7 p.m. in the Budd Auditorium—are funny. Talented. Witty. Working hard. And having a good time. They are the heart and soul of LHS right now, and you know how I know that? They have no less than fifteen faculty (!!!) participating, too! The teachers, coaches, and administrators we have joining the fun wouldn’t think about being in a show with students they didn’t believe in, trust me. And these seniors are led by a select few who are the future of tomorrow, ones who I can ask anything of, and it will get done. They are driven to succeed, and they LOVE competition. I would give you a list, but I think you should come see for yourself. Don’t you love watching SNL, chomping on a late-night snack of popcorn, and laughing your arse off? You won’t be disappointed in what these seniors have in store for you: it’s all GOOD. (Spoiler alert: if you’ve read this far, here are a couple of our skits, in code: Vehicle in a Location by Some Type of Water and Extra Bovine Chime.)

I’ll see you next weekend!!!

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