Today in class, we read an essay titled “Class Dismissed” by Walter Kirn. In his essay, Kirn expresses his disapproval of senior year and his desire to have it completely eliminated.
From the very first paragraph that I read, I disliked this essay. This is rare, since I’ve practically fallen in love with everything we’ve read in English class up to this point. However, I really did not appreciate what Kirn was saying.
It seems to me as though he had a really bad time in his own senior year, so now he’s just acting bitter. He uses flimsy, theoretical examples of what it is in his mind. With all due respect with Mr. Kirn, not all seniors waste their final year of high school with “oafish goofing off, chronic truancy, random bullying…” Who is he to say that seniors don’t accomplish anything “aside from surviving to age 18 or so and not dropping out or running away from home”? He even includes references to movies. Kirn makes such hasty generalizations that really pained me to read them.
Personally, I’ve been looking forward to senior year for quite a long time now. I am only one year away from experiencing the senior fun that I’ve only heard about in stories. The way Kirn completely bashed senior year, without even using concrete evidence, was offensive because he could not sufficiently support his position, yet he was putting down what should be an important year in everyone’s life. For a long time, senior year has not only been simply a final year of high school, but also a rite of passage. And I, unlike Mr. Kirn here, would definitely like for it to remain where it is.