My Commencement Address

Dear Dedicated Callithump Thunderblog Readers,

I, Sondra Stinglash, not my real name, graduated from massage school a few days ago. We had a lovely closure ceremony at school and then our graduation took place at a nearby auditorium later that evening. All lovely. Wouldn't have done anything differently, except...

For some reason, I wasn't elected to speak. It must have been an oversight, a miscount of the ballots...for surely my classmates would want Sondra Stinglash, queen of the humor blog, voted "Best Sense of Humor" (OK, I had to share that honor with two others, but still...), to give an entertaining graduation address. Had my fellow students not been totally whacked on crack the day we voted for our representative, here is the gist of what I would have said-

1. First I would respectfully address my audience- acknowledging my fellow classmates, their families and faculty and staff of our esteemed school. I would thank my classmates for electing me as their representative and I would publicly commend them for not giving into the temptation of crack cocaine.

2. Then I would tell a really funny joke. No, scratch that. I would tell a hilarious joke. I know just the one. I would tell the joke where the priest, the rabbi and the massage therapist walk into a bar. I love that joke. Then, once the laughter and applause died down....

3. Next would come a really touching story. I would tell the story of Harvey Finklestein, the inspiring massage therapist who persevered despite the fact that he was born with no hands. Tears would roll down the faces of the audience as they listened to his tale of struggle and courage. Battling both physical adversity and overwhelming prejudice, the story of Harvey Finklestien would forever be a reminder of the power of believing in your dreams.

4. And I wouldn't stop there. You might think I would. After all, the audience has laughed and cried. My fellow students, each possessing two hands, have been inspired and humbled by the incredible story of Harvey Finklestien, but still I press on. After all, even though the audience is made up of friends and family of massage students, they really have no idea what massage school is really like. For this reason, I will do a demonstration of getting fully undressed and redressed again on a massage table under the sheets in less than a minute.

One of my fellow classmates said, on our last day, that massage school was a great experience and at the same time, a very, very bizarre one. I would have to agree. I loved it. I hated it. And now it is done. 1000 hours. It was a consuming experience, full of rigor and densely packed days. I dealt with the stress by writing. Thus this blog was born. And now, perhaps as a byproduct of the reduced demands in my life, I haven't felt as compelled to write. Or at least, I have not felt so compelled to write humor. As entertaining as these pieces can be, sometimes I wonder where they really come from. Sometimes joking feels compulsive, like a touretters tic; I just have to say that funny thing...I HAVE to say it. Once at school, I was standing in line to use the bathroom. I had to go badly and had been waiting for a while. I was finally next in line. Overhearing a couple of classmates talking, I left the line to walk over to them and make a joke and I lost my spot. I lost my spot in line, my immediate chance to relieve my thinly stretched bladder, in order to crack a joke. Seems a little addictive, does it not?

In all seriousness though, I will miss school. I will miss the people. One refrain that came up repeatedly was that we all had gotten close even though we got on each other's nerves. I suppose that there was some truth to that. How could we help but become close? How could we help but get on one another's nerves? It is a given, just part of the territory. What I will take away though, from the year, in regards to my fellow students, is that I have become quite fond of them, collectively and individually. We went through a program that the word "intense" does little to describe. And we helped one another through a journey that for each of us had both its bumps and its triumphs. We are good people. Guess it isn't surprising that the field of massage would attract warm, caring, generous people.

It was best that I wasn't elected to speak. I would have spoken for too long. And the preparation would have made me crazy nervous because I hate public speaking. And I would have cried during the whole thing, making the entire speech incomprehensible and embarrassing.

Anyway, lovely readers, thank you for supporting my stress inspired therapeutic blog for the past almost year. I am sure that the stress will pick up very soon and I will be back, churning out post after post.

And, if you are fellow classmate who has never visited this blog before, please check out the Palpation Slave piece. I still wish I had me one of those.


Sondra Singlash

Go ahead and click on the teeny envelope icon and send this post to a friend. Don't be jerky and claim that you wrote it because I wrote it, damn it.

5 Response to "My Commencement Address"

  • Taylor W. Says:

    Again, I laughed out loud! I can clearly picture you, myself, someone doing that, having a long intense experience and then while trying to express my love and gratitude, weeping and slobbering all over the place. Too bad you don't have time for another career - you could be a writer for SNL.

  • Kate Says:

    poop I wrote a really long comment and it disappeared - waaaa. So now you get the shortened, unspecific but still appreciative comment. That was really funny!

  • Anonymous Says:

    Thank you Sondra! Your humor and whimsy is unmatchable! Please, PLEASE, don't stop being funny just because school is over! As you may have experienced in your student clinic @ OSTM, there is PLENTY of great comic material out there as a LMT! Best of luck to you!

    P.S. I'll be your palpation slave anytime!

  • Says:

    Sondra! You're back! I've missed you so much. I hate it when massage school takes you hostage like that! Bad, bad massage school! Still, I'm glad you made some new friends, (I think... just so they don't make you ignore me.)

    Anyway, I just want you to know that I would have clapped... nay... stood up and cheered, had you actually given your commencement speech and had I actually been there. Alas, I chose to go camping instead.

    Just goes to show what a great friend I am.

    Cat Lady

    P.S. Am I getting on your nerves yet?

  • NJ Pigno Says:

    Kate- I think you wrote your "really long" comment under Taylor's name. Now I know the real truth...your definition of really long is 6 lines.

    But thanks for the kudos. I am glad that you enjoyed the post.

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