A Short Story in the Slice of Life Series
David Lee Howells
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Valedictorian Gail Gruner sat at the diner with salutatorian Andrew Potts. Their roles at the graduation ceremony normally were clear, having the comfort and format of tradition, yet allowing ample room for creativity. Traditions had it that the valedictorian be, more often than not, the student with the greatest academic achievement. Gail had that in the bag. Her sophomore AP English Lit instructor still found himself defending the A-minus he awarded Gail on her project paper. Her argument that she finished it while sick in bed with bronchitis had only pushed it up from the B-minus originally awarded.
Valedictorians gave the address, the ‘valediction’, from a student’s point of view, and surely there were those that found fame if not fortune when sufficiently memorable and clever. The best she found on a web search wasn’t even valid, though. “Wear Sunscreen” was supposedly the commencement speech given by Kurt Vonnegut in 1997. It wasn’t, but it was still famous. She had studied it for inspiration, got some great ideas from it, and now was unable to apply it. She smiled half heartedly to think she could not apply ‘Sunscreen’.