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Protracted Presentation-Excerpt From Crayons and Chaos

13 Dec 2019


Note to self. Never, and I repeat, never, attend an end of year school presentation without coffee on board. This was my first, and it had to be the longest four hours of my life. I thought I might pass out from either caffeine deprivation or boredom, whichever one came first.

Normally neither Tom nor I can make it to these things due to work, so Sean was happy that we were there. His year six class was putting on a performance. He had been talking about it for weeks. The presentation ceremony was due to start at eight thirty. We dropped Sean off at the front gate to meet his friends, and I quickly suggested we go grab a take away coffee and come back, as we had plenty of time.

Tom ignored my desperate plea, instead deciding to park the car, and head inside to find a good seat in the auditorium. 'It will be fine babe, these things only go for an hour, it should be all over by nine thirty, and then we can get coffee'. I reluctantly agreed, and hoped he was right. 

At the beginning of the proceedings, the Master of Ceremonies introduced the middle school band. Middle school incorporates years five through to eight. The band then played seven pieces. Yes, that's Surely two or there would have sufficed. It's not an audition for The Sydney Symphony Orchestra for god's sake.

He then announced that each year's chosen performance would to be at the end of the presentations. I was thinking, OK, that's not too bad, we only have to sit through years five and six, watch Sean's performance, and then go and get coffee before I am arrested for murder, or at the very least, common assault. Tom can take or leave his morning coffee. I, on the other hand become feral if there is no cup of coffee in my hand by nine o'clock.

An hour and a half later, we had sat through the year five and six presentations. Each and every single child was brought up on stage and given a certificate, one by one, as the teacher told the audience a little bit about the student.

Look parents of the world, no offence, as I am sure you are very proud of the fact that young Johnny is the school's star one hundred metre hurdler, and is both kind and conscientious. Here's the problem though. I wouldn't know Johnny if I fell over him in the playground. So dear teacher, please move it along, before we all fall asleep.

Another two and a half hours later, we had sat through year seven and eight, three more pieces by the band, and finally got to Sean's performance. It was twelve forty-five by the time we left to get coffee. I am sure I had developed some sort of nervous twitch.  

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