June 6, 2012

Promotion with honors

Today, the eighth graders at the junior high where I teach participated in a promotion ceremony. The band  played, students delivered speeches and everyone paraded up to the podium to greet teachers and administrators when their names were announced to a capacity crowd.

I  had the distinct pleasure of calling the roll, a simple task, as long as you don't miss the designations of "M" and "H" at the end of many surnames.

A student with an "H" is promoted "with honors," meaning her GPA was 3.5 or higher. The "M's" are "with merit."

As I announced the names, in my best emcee voice, I wondered what inflection I should use for an "average" student (no H) and an "Honors Student." Should I use a monotone voice for the riffraff that dared to march with student royalty? Perhaps a pregnant pause, prior to shouting "With Honors," in my best vibrato.

In the end, I decided to use the same voice for all students. After all, I couldn't see a difference in them, before the medals were handed out.