If I came to my school and found painted footprints, scrawled graffiti on the front steps, a concrete bench that had been moved and a lamb tied to a pole, I wouldn't suspect that it was a senior prank. I would assume that it was Tuesday after a three-day weekend. That may be because I work in Oakland, not in Brentwood. And we don't have seniors. We have fifth graders.
Still, on the whole I didn't see or hear of any damage that couldn't be put to rights after a half-day of buildings and grounds attention. Does that excuse the behavior of these miscreants? The fact that they used washable paint? The lamb does seem a little over the top, as a living creature, but kids will be kids, right? Some will point to the several page packet that was given to all the graduating seniors that warned them away from any such hijinks, or they could suffer the consequences. Like they wouldn't get their diplomas. They wouldn't be allowed to walk across the stage to stop at the podium long enough for the photo-op with the superintendent. The worst? Summer school.
It also set off, as so many things do, the nostalgia alarm in my head. I was scared off of any senior pranks with the threat of having my diploma held if I misbehaved in any way leading up to the trip our high school band took to Mexico directly after graduation. I was one of those who knuckled under to the man, and walked the straight and narrow, even though all the other goodie-two-shoes were skipping off to sample the nightlife in Acapulco and getting frisky down by the surf. Do I wish that I would have taken a chance and sowed some wild oats? Not really, since I did that before and after the trip south of the border. My senior prank was probably this: Our band director and a certain number of his minions were no doubt consumed with the task of catching me, my girlfriend, or any of my associates doing anything that could have been considered inappropriate. If that kept them from having the frolic they might have been considering, the joke was on them. It didn't involve farm animals or washable paint, but it will have to serve as my legacy. Congratulations to the Class of 2012.