121 More Valedictorians Than Dalmatians

The high school from which I graduated just named 222 valedictorians; this former valedictorian is mildly chagrined.

This is NOT going to be an

This is NOT going to be an “everyone gets a trophy” rant, but…

On June 3, 1984 I spoke at my graduation from Dublin High School. At that time, Dublin had less than 4000 inhabitants, there was only one high school, and the sole traffic light on Sawmill Road south of I-270 was at Rt. 161.

That's my inspiration face.

That’s my inspiration face.

That day, my co-valedictorian and I gave what has been described as “an inspiring, well-prepared valedictorian speech” to a crowded set of football bleachers. Now Dublin has over 43,000 residents, there are three high schools, and driving on Sawmill frightens me down to my Shamrocks. My high school is now called Coffman, and the bleachers I spoke before are now the visitors’ seats at the shiny bajillion-dollar football “complex” they built on the other side of the school. Moreover, the school I went to is now invisible behind masses of additional wings.

Oh, and there are also 111 times as many valedictorians. From the Columbus Dispatch on June 3rd of this year:

Graduation ceremonies might still be going on if Dublin schools had asked all of its valedictorians to speak.

There were 222 of them.

That means two out of every 10 graduates at Dublin’s three high schools received top honors this year. Dublin Scioto had 44 valedictorians, Dublin Jerome had 82, and Dublin Coffman had 96.

Or to put it another way, the Dublin City School district now has 40 more valedictorians than it had graduating seniors in 1984. Yes, the district now has over 1100 grads, but at that same ratio, my class of 182 would have had 36 valedictorians.

Or yet another way, 121 more valedictorian than Dalmatians.

Even The Today Show’s toothy people who populate the show’s misbegotten third hour, had a laugh at Dublin’s expense. My alma mater is now a laughing stock.

This isn’t going to be some lament about how “everybody gets a trophy.” If you look at the comments section of the Dispatch article, a quick scansion shows approximately 850 mentions of that phrase. And, yes, I know I used “scansion” incorrectly. Would anyone but a valedictorian know it’s used incorrectly? I don’t think so.

No, my lament is about how this development cheapens one of my better cocktail-party lines. For some reason, mentioning this fact elicits a very pleasing “Well, isn’t that nice, but, again, please tell me what that has to do with Caitlyn Jenner?” Now I’m scared that dropping this tidbit will now only brings a cascade of “Me too’s” from the entire room. Continue reading