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Selling Graduation

Senior Dons Sitting Ducks


I could buy a class ring and wear it on my finger like the holy grail of ugly. Though it’s tempting to pay $300 for this, I think I’ll pass.

On Monday the company Jostens came to Santa Barbara High School to sell us our caps and gowns-along with rings, mugs, invitations, t-shirts, and picture frames, to name a few items. We abandoned a class period, and were herded into the auditorium and persuaded to buy tassle-holders.

Maren Schiffer

It was a pretty light thing, no big deal. We got out of class free and sat with friends. Most students were thrilled. But my relationship with Jostens was different: What about all of the times my Jostens salesman visits rival schools, and who knows what he is up to in the company’s Midwest headquarters? I felt used.

In all seriousness, who was this guy, and what is this massive company? Was the assembly justified? Is it okay to advertise to a captive audience of students in a pubic school? Where is the line drawn? Yes, we need a cap, gown, and tassle, and most need invitations. But still, seniors were required to go to an assembly where a salesman marketed embellished dog tags, memory books, and sweatpants that read “Senior 2010.”

It was one of our six to seven assemblies of the year. Is it not odd that we spent an hour being persuaded to spend bucks when what we needed to hear could have taken 10 minutes? Maybe it took up a slot that could have been filled with a fulfilling assembly, a real one.

Whatever my state of confusion or bitterness, I am able to snub the company. The only thing I need to buy from Jostens is a tassle.

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