The year that I was one of two teachers in a two-teacher rural Alabama school we planned a real commencement program for our eighth graders, with stage, speaker and all the decorations. The county superintendent delivered the address and I nodded to the pianist to start the recessional. She hesitated, looked at me in wonderment and started to play only after I had nodded my head vigorously the third time. They all marched out beautifully and I stood there full of pride when all at once I felt a tug at my coat. There was the runtiest eighth grader of all and he was still sitting there. He had not marched out with the rest. In a bewildered tone, he asked, "Ain't we gonna' get our diplomers, Mr. Hadley?"
In the excitement, of supervising my first graduation exercises, I forgot to distribute the diplomas. The pupils marched back in, received their diplomas and all was well.—William Hadley, Superintendent of Glen Ellyn Schools, Illinois
Just before graduation exercises were to get under way a commencement speaker sat down on a newly painted bench just before he was to speak. He turned disaster into triumph, however, by opening his remarks with "I had hoped to bring you an unvarnished tale this day, but fate decreed otherwise."