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Families, friends, and Tigers alumni, welcome to the graduation celebration for the Bayside High Class of 1993! Graduates, congratulations! While it’s only been four years, it has really felt a lot more like six seasons.

For those who only know me as The Big Bopper, I am also the principal of Bayside High, Mr. Richard Belding. I know you probably think I say this every year, but I feel an incredible kinship with this year’s graduates. Believe it or not, I have actually known some of you since middle school, when we were all at learning lessons from the indefatigable and incomparable Miss Bliss. Legally, we can’t talk about what happened that one day, and why we all suddenly moved from Indiana to California for high school, but rest assured, we are stronger for it.

And before we proceed with the fun, I would be remiss if I didn’t take a minute and remember someone who would be here with you today, if it weren’t for that mysteriously ambiguous thing I was just referencing. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think of you, Mikey. You had so much potential.

Class of ‘93, I hope your four to six years were as remarkable for you as they were for me. We learned so much together, inside and outside the classroom, and I want that to be the biggest takeaway for your futures: school is not the only arena for knowledge!

I thought we could take a stroll down memory lane and review a few of the lessons we leave Bayside with, today.

We learned a lot about consent.

For example, we learned that bugging someone’s sleepover is only as good as the place you hide the microphone. We learned that taking photos of the women’s swim team and repurposing them into a swimsuit calendar has far-reaching effects. And a couple years later, we learned almost the exact same lesson—that you cannot use the video yearbook footage to create a dating service. We learned that trying to subliminally manipulate every woman in the high school to fall in love with you is too many women.

We learned a lot about respect for animals.

We learned that chasing easy money by drilling for oil can harm a lot of harmless pond animals. We learned that betting a dog at a poker game is never a good idea, especially if that dog is not yours. Speaking of dogs, we learned that kidnapping a live animal mascot will not win any prank wars. I guess I am not speaking to a lot of future veterinarians out here today!

We learned that saying no to drugs is hard, but important.

We learned that cool Hollywood actors who smoke dope are not cool at all. And that using uppers to deal with the stress of extracurriculars always comes with eventual downers. We also learned a very special lesson about drinking and driving, but not enough of a lesson, because we learned a second lesson about reckless driving and purposely distracting a Driver’s Ed demo.

We learned many a valuable lesson about beauty, and how it is not everything.

We learned  that there is no quick cure for a pimple—and that a little school spirit is the best cover up on the market. We learned that fat girls who win date auctions deserve to be treated like anyone else who wins a date auction. We learned that men can win Miss Bayside competitions, and that women can make the wrestling team. We learned that women in wheelchairs deserve our respect, if we really think about it. And Jessie’s dad taught us that true love can overcome any age gap if the man is older, wealthier, and white.

And there were so many more lessons that don’t fit into major themes!

We learned that incentivizing something important like a class election or a school song, is not the best way to encourage student participation. We learned that fake IDs may be easy to pass by bouncers, but that it’s not all fun and games through those nightclub doors. We learned that if you get swindled by a senior class ring salesman, threatening him with violence can usually fix the problem. And we learned that women who are into Screech usually have ulterior motives, whether that means they want to steal his lucky chess beret or his grandma’s secret spaghetti sauce recipe.

In closing, I’d like to thank every student at Bayside for another successful year in the books. I may not have been able to spend as much time with each of you equally, since I was often busy with a select few, but please know that my door will always be open to you. I’d like to end today’s graduation with the way we end every graduation, with the playing of the school song that Zach wrote after rigging the competition and screwing over his friends. Huzzah!

Josh Bard

Josh Bard is a guy. A sports guy, an ideas guy, a wise guy, a funny guy, a Boston guy, and sometimes THAT guy. Never been a Guy Fieri guy, though.

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