The "Friends Forever" One Month Rule

I’m going to type out some lyrics. Some very well known lyrics. And I would be quite surprised if you were able to read them without hearing the annoying tune playing in your head.

As we go on, we remember

All the times we had together

And as our lives change, come whatever

We will still be friends forever

I despise this song. Absolutely despise it. I think it’s got a rotten tune and the lyrics are as cheesy as the end to every bad romantic-comedy you’ve ever seen. I’ve got nothing against the artist, Vitamin-C. I think the girl did a great job with the song “Vacation”. (Which plays at the start of the animated short Pikachu’s Vacation, the opening to Pokemon: The First Movie.) But every year, right around this time, I hear “Friends Forever” played and I…cringe.

And yet…

Well, here we are in our last month of High School and…I might’ve caught myself singing it a few times. After about the 30th time I absentmindedly heard myself hum the chorus (the only part I know) of that terrible song, I decided to make a rule in my mind.

The “Friends Forever” One Month Rule: Most sane people will spend their entire lives despising the song: “Friends Forever”…Except in the one month before graduation…Then it’s kind of okay…

I think this rule has a few clauses, like certain times during that month where it may sound a little better than others. For example: The day after your last High School dance. Now that Prom has come and past, things are starting to seem a lot more real. After the Conference Track Meet and the Festival of the Senses (both happening this upcoming weekend), the next big event I’m looking forward to is Graduation itself. And that means I’ll probably be hearing a lot more of “Friends Forever”. I guess I’m all right with that.

Heck, there’s only four weeks of school left. That’s chump change, chump change in the grand scheme of things. Might as well just say school’s over now.

Four weeks.

I better get my “Friends Forever” kicks while I can. I better listen to “In My Life” before it gets old. I better jam out to “Forever Young” before it makes me wanna blow my brains out.

-Brian Wiegand (An Idiot, A Superman in training)

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15 Plays Later

March 7, 2013

15 Plays Later

When this trimester began, I was put in a class called: “Guided Study”. This class was created to give students who struggle with classwork some extra time to study. I’m there as a member of NHS and I help the kids with their homework when they need it.

When they don’t need it, however, Mr. Nott and I discuss plays that he’s assigned me to read. Since the trimester started, I’ve read 15 plays. And they’ve all been so unbelievably good.

Death of a Salesman

Equus

The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-In-The-Moon Marigolds

The Runner Stumbles

I Hate Hamlet

Fools

Moon Over Buffalo

Mother Hicks

Step on a Crack

Selkie

Dark of the Moon

The Miracle Worker

The Glass Menagerie

Wait Until Dark

And The Foreigner

I’ve visited rural, southern towns plagued by superstition in plays like Mother Hicks or Dark of the Moon. I’ve been taken to fast-moving, city apartments in Moon Over Buffalo or Wait Until Dark. I’ve laughed at absurdly satirical comedies like I Hate Hamlet and Fools. I’ve been intrigued by thought-provoking dramas like Equus and The Glass Menagerie. Mr. Nott even had me delve into the world of plays for children with works like Selkie and Step on a Crack. He told me that: “Plays for children must be better than plays for adults. Kids have an ability to understand great Truth, more than we think they can. Most kids nowadays are malnourished, they aren’t given the kind of entertainment that helps them grow.”

While every single play has been amazing…I don’t know if any of them topped The Effect of Gamma Rays. If I had to choose a favorite, that would be it. In fact, if you ever come across a copy of the play, snatch it up. Read it.

Unfortunately, the trimester is rapidly coming to a close. Pretty soon, I’ll have to say good-bye to the kids. Luckily, Mr. Nott and I have discussed letting me continue my play reading even after I leave the class. I mean, he’s got this huge crate full of all his favorite plays and I’d love to read them all…There’s only one problem…

With this trimester ending, more and more Seniors are talking about the end of High School. And it’s made me realize that I can postpone thinking about the end all I want but it’ll still be there. I can keep reading plays in the third trimester…But that’ll end eventually. So, maybe the crate will go unfinished.

While that could be a depressing thought…I suppose I should just be happy that I was given the amazing opportunity to (somewhat) have an Independent Study of Drama in my Senior Year. What PAC Rat wouldn’t want that?

For now, I’ll just ask Mr. Nott to keep piling the plays on. I’ll deal with the end when it gets here.

-Brian Wiegand (An Idiot, A Superman in training)

My Closet Door

February 25, 2013

My Closet Door

Due to the effect of Michigan weather, we Richlandites won’t see Spring take over our environment for a while, but Spring is certainly approaching…rapidly.

Spring is a busy time for an Idiot like me. Spring means Track…Spring means One Acts…And Spring means Glitter. Glitter auditions have already come and past, the Call Board was posted just last week. This year will be my fourth as a Master of Ceremony. There’s a opening Track meeting tomorrow. And just today, Mr. Nott updated the Call Board with information on One Acts.

So, I’m very aware that my final season of High School will soon be upon me.

Just the other day, I was looking at My Closet Door and it hit me just how close we are to the end. See, my closet door has these four panels. On each panel, I’ve placed a poster and a playbill from that year’s PAC events. The problem with this decoration is that once it’s finally finished…I won’t be around long enough to appreciate it. With One Acts on the way, My Closet Door will soon be complete.

Well, shoot.

Anyway, the non-morbid part of Spring is that it’s always fun. Busy…But fun. And I can’t wait to try my hand at Directing my very own show.

I haven’t talked about it for a while, but The Pan Complex will soon be presented for the community to see. While Erica and I may have been slacking slightly in our author-ly duties, we’ll have the play done before it’s due…this Thursday.

I think the most exciting thing about The Pan Complex is that it’s being invented 100% by Erica and I. We wrote the play, we’ll cast the players, we’ll decide the movements, we’ll design the set, and I’ve even asked a good friend of mine, Brady, to make the music. For four years, I’ve been under the direction of Mr. Nott or Mrs. Stahr or some Senior…But this year, I get to grab my megaphone and see what I can do with the right side of my brain.

It’s the compilation of everything I’ve learned in four years of PAC and High School packed into one 15 minute show.

Spring means a lot of things that I can look at morosely…my last Track season, my last trimester of High School, my last Glitter, my last PAC Show…Or I can realize that I’ve been blessed to have these opportunities given to me. And I’m lucky to still have a little bit of time to make a splash at Gull Lake High School.

So, here’s to the completion of My Closet Door. Here’s to Spring. Here’s to Track. Here’s to Glitter. Here’s to One Acts. And here’s to Peter Pan.

-Brian Wiegand (An Idiot, A Superman in training)

A Snowy Friday

February 8, 2013

A Snowy Friday

Last night, snow fell over Michigan. Lots of snow. And that was rather fitting.

Because today is Sno-Court. Overall, it’s A Snowy Friday.

Sno-Court is a lot like Homecoming. It’s essentially identical. But there is a very noticeable difference between the hype surrounding both events. I think it’s fair to say that people get more excited about Homecoming. Maybe it’s because Football is so unbelievably American, or maybe it’s because Winter is a hard season to get “pumped up” in.

In any case, it’s not entirely fair to compare Sno Court to Homecoming because, in the end, it’s all working towards the same goal: Creating School Spirit. And that’s a goal to be admired.

Schools are filled with hundreds upon hundreds of kids, and all of them are different. There are Basketball players and there are thespians, there are AP students and there are blow-off class regulars, there are shy mice and social butterflies. But they’re all members of the same school. We’re all Gull Lakers. Whether we like it or not, this is the hand we’ve been dealt in Life and Sno Court is about being proud of that. It’s about smacking your fist against your chest and booming: “I am Gull Lake.” It’s about knowing that being a Gull Laker makes you special.

We’re all…”On the same team.”

Now, if you’ll allow me to get really, really…out there, I’d like to try and make a connection. I recently saw a motivational video in which a young boy (Kid President) gave the world a pep talk. And one of the things this little boy said was: “If Life is a game…Aren’t we all on the same team? I mean really, right? I’m on your team. Be on my team.”

I think that’s a point Truer than anything I’ve ever heard. If a High School can come together and be proud of what they stand for as Gull Lakers…Couldn’t humans come together be proud of what they stand for?

And I think, when we really get down to it, that’s what School Spirit is about. That’s what Sno Court is about. That’s what Homecoming is about. It’s about realizing that we’re not really all that different. We may come from different places and we may believe different things…But we’re all Gull Lakers. We’re all humans. We’re all…here. Living.

Anyway, I’ll get off that soapbox and come back down to the real world.

Today was great. Today was A Snowy Friday, but the snow did little to dampen the mood of Gull Lake High School. Today was fun.

Especially because the Seniors totally kicked some butt at the Snow Olympics.

And I’d say that’s all thanks to a little School Spirit.

-Brian Wiegand (An Idiot, A Superman in training)

The Last Hoorah

January 9, 2013

The Last Hoorah

Across the nation, it’s hard to find a High School that doesn’t offer some sort of…Last Hoorah to their graduating Seniors. Even Rydell High does it! At Gull Lake, we call it “Grad Bash”. Grad Bash is The Last Hoorah for the Seniors of Gull Lake High School. And this year, it’s finally my turn to go on that magical trip.

(Luckily, I’ve turned my form in already. At the end of this month, the price to attend goes up $15. So, to any Gull Lake Seniors out there that haven’t signed up yet…Get on that.)

I still remember when my sister, Molly, went to hers…

Graduation had just finished and we were out on the plaza beside Miller Auditorium, on Western Michigan University’s campus. (Miller is the stage Gull Lake uses to present graduates with their diplomas.) A few buses waited patiently in the parking lot, prepared to take all the Seniors of Gull Lake to a location only known by the bus drivers and the parents that organized Grad Bash. Molly and the Class of 2010 ended up returning to Western’s campus for a night of blow-up, bouncy house fun in the Rec. Center. The Class of 2011 put on their boogie shoes for a night of line dancing at Cowboy-Up. The Class of 2012 was taken up to a community center in Grand Rapids and spent the night playing ping-pong and video games, climbing rock walls, and dancing.

Secretiveness is part of the magic that is Gull Lake’s Grad Bash. None of the Seniors know what they’re doing until they’re there. And I think that’s pretty cool. The mystery surrounding Grad Bash makes it exciting. Even if I had the chance to know where we were going, I wouldn’t want to hear it. Because it’s the unknown that we show an interest in.

Mystery is intriguing.

In the end, of course, I’d still go to Grad Bash if it wasn’t a secret. What’s really important about the evening is the camaraderie that fills the heart of every Senior. I can feel it start even now. Sometimes…I walk down the hallway and I look around at the faces of my peers, the faces of my fellow Seniors, and it feels right. It feels like: “Yes. We really did this. We really made it through these 13 years of school.” Of course, we all have much more difficult challenges ahead of us…But we did this. We played the game and we played it well enough to get here. I even feel this connection with kids I barely know. They’re a fellow Gull Lake Senior, and that’s enough to make me want to smile and wave.

Because we did it together. We made it this far together. We’ve seen each other achieve and we’ve seen each other fail. We’ve seen each other laugh and sometimes we’ve seen each other cry. We’ve seen each other excited and we’ve seen each other scared. We’ve each found our niche and we’ve all become different people. Some of us are writers. Some of us are artists. Some of us are Basketball stars. Some of us are PAC Rats. Soccer players. Band Geeks. Poets. Wrestling champs. History buffs. Quiz-Bowlians. Football beasts. Mathematicians. Equestrian masters. Scientists. Golfers. Outcasts. In-Crowd. Track and Cross Country runners. KAMSC kids. Tennis players. Just there. Presidents. Nerds. Jocks. Slackers. Hard workers. Some of us are this. Some of us are that. Some of us are none of the above. And some of us…well, some of us are Idiots. But all of us make up the Class of 2013. And we made it this far together.

That’s what Grad Bash is all about. It’s all about raising a glass to the past 13 years and having one night of relaxed fun before we turn to face the rest of our lives.

Because…the future is pretty scary. But we can think about that after Grad Bash.

To the Gull Lake Class of 2013, I say: “Thank you. Thank you for everything. Thank you for more than you could ever possibly know.”

-Brian Wiegand (An Idiot, A Superman in training)