The Old That Does Not Wither

Slow to Change (Written May 21, 2014)

I guess a person can’t change over night,
Or even in months or in years,
‘Cause what you are can be slow to change
When you’re weak as me, I fear.


I wrote this after a very bad day at school. I was ticked. We were doing a quick run through of our school song before graduation, just to make sure everybody remembered how it goes. It is largely just a formality, because everybody knows the school song very well.

(Have you ever seen the movie Herny V? The song the men sing at the end when they are removing the dead from the battle field is Non Nobis Domine, and it is also our school song and motto. Non nobis, Domine, sed nomini tuo da gloriam- not to us, O Lord, but to Thy name give glory. Basically it is saying that we work towards the greater honor and glory of God, rather than our own gratification. You’ll find similar sentiment expressed by soldier fighting for their countries, right?)

Really, this practice every year is to make sure everybody remembers when the actual school choir starts singing the harmony, that everybody else doesn’t, and to give the soloist who starts it a chance to practice in from of more than just the choir teacher- and, I suppose, to make sure all the younger students and new students know what the words mean.

Now, why was I ticked? Well this is our school song. It is a great school song.  It has a great message and it sounds awesome. I really think that you should always have some pride in the school you come from, simply because it has contributed in making you what you are, but all the more so when you have gone to an awesome school. When you sing your school song at graduation, I have always felt, you should do so with the greatest pride because you are representing your school and all it has taught you. Generally speaking, I think most people will respect that, even if they don’t actually believe it themselves, just because they know it means a lot to the alumni and staff, as well as the graduates. This year, however, a group of students decided they really didn’t give half a darn about it at all.

They sat through the entire practice, while we are all singing our school song, and messed around with a camera, talking and distracting everybody, particularly the younger students. That, in any setting, is irritating. Seriously, there is an awful lot of time to mess around at school, class is not the time to do it. Especially if you are going to a private school and have parents paying large sums of money for you to do so. Then you add to this the fact that this is our school song and it is all the more maddening. This, however, was nowhere near the worst of it.

After this practice was over and we are all gathering for a student assembly- announcements about where/when the graduation ceremony would be held and what everybody was supposed to wear etc.- these same girls who were messing around during practice were called out by one of the younger students. This students was asking one of her friends what all the noise was behind them when the older girls who were messing around heard them talking. How would you react, caught in their place? Have to grace to be embarrassed? They didn’t. They turned around and called the girls everything from teacher’s pets to sneaks, and when other students who heard the exchange told them they were being disrespectful to the school and the teachers, these girls said “You’re welcome! Want us to do more?” and walked away laughing.

I have, almost literally, never been so angry. I yelled at them, without raising my voice. I told them they were jerks. I said that if they cared so little for the school then they should do us and their parents a favor and drop out. They laughed and said we deserved it. I nearly threw something at them. I actually told the choir director. I never tell the teacher- officially, anyway, a few of the teachers are aunts and cousins and we tend to talk about things like that when we sit around drinking coffee.

I don’t know if this seems as horrendous to others as it does to me. Maybe in other places that wouldn’t be a surprise. I know I’ve been told that it is an odd thing how much respect we have for our school here, but I’m not actually willing to believe that.


Oddly, I wrote this poem when I realized I was actually upset with myself for blowing up on them. I don’t even get why I was upset with myself for that, because, honestly, they deserved a lot worse. I think I was upset because I had resolved to not just yell at people this year, and in that case I did. But, the more I think about it, the more I think they really needed some correcting. I think I was upset because I knew I hadn’t in any way changed their minds, I’d just failed in my earlier resolution. =/ Odd, I guess.


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