Senior Ditch Day at Stinson Beach

Dylan Kronenebrg, Entertainament Editor

As Nader Jazayeri strolls outside his classroom on May 17 at 7:59 A.M. to meet his seniors for the second to last Friday school day of the year, His big smile morphs into a look of utter confusion. He expects to see his senior Psychology class giddily cruising to class, complimenting his signature “Friday funday” vans and jeans look, but is instead met with Juniors, sophomores, and Freshman speedily rushing to class. He slowly scans the tennis lot, his eyes moving right past the library, over the big yellow gate, past Mr. Koepp and Mr. Gadde’s science rooms, and finally to the 140s bathroom hall, and still no senior in sight. His hands begin to sweat as his heart beats faster and faster. The anxiety from giving no high fives this particular morning out begins to hit him. With his mind wandering like a bee in a garden, he thinks of the time, the day specifically. He begins to speak in a hushed whisper to the grey concrete below him. “Second to last Friday, no seniors, hmm. I wonder if-” He says before his thoughts are cut short. Jazayeri dramatically plunges to his knees with his hands reaching towards the grey morning clouds, head hung low with his eyes buckled shut. After a mere second or two, his head whips back as he screams up to the gods in  a fury of rage. “DITCH DAY!” He shouts up to the sky.

On Friday May 27th, many seniors coordinated and took part in the traditional “senior ditch day” by either skipping school entirely or asking their parents to sign them out for a day. Inside of the Facebook group for all the seniors, certain leaders took charge and found the perfect date that the most seniors could skip.

“Many students had their parents call them out and excuse their absence instead of just cutting all of their classes. It is the safer way to go.” Said Ryan Anderson.

Many students who did not attend school on the 27th did not just sit at home and hide in their room praying that Mrs. Lai and Mrs. Griffin would not come knocking. Seniors found their beach at one of the many in the San Francisco area. Because many seniors wanted to spend the day with all of the other seniors acting like Ferris, the class wanted to stick together.  In the end, the decision came down to Baker or Stinson beach, which was aided by a poll inside the class of 2016 Facebook group.

“I decided to make a poll to choose the location of ditch day because there seemed to be a lot of controversy and chatter over where we would be spending the day as a class.” Elizabeth Hofinga said. “In order to reach a conclusion that would not be argued, I thought a poll would do the job.” Baker Beach, a San Francisco beach located in the Presidio has amazing views of the Golden Gate and is a all around nice beach. Stinson Beach is an iconic beach for Northern California and offers miles of golden sand in a small beach town inside of Marin County. “During the planning process, I thought the class should stick together and go to the same beach.” Merrick Goodman said.

“Stinson is harder to get to in terms of how windy the road is but traffic on the way to Baker in the Morning is bad too. I really wanted to go to Stinson and did my best to persuade the group with effective Facebook comments. In the end, the class chose the right beach, Stinson.” Sutter Lindberg said.

The class of 2016 met at Stinson beach at around 10 A.M. with people trickling in until 12 noon. “The weather was 75 degrees and sunny and the class really came together and fed off of the good vibes from the nice weather.” Shawn Honaryar said. Seniors played many beach games like frisbee, soccer, and football and dipped into the ice cold water all day long. The beach was not very crowded, as the class could congregate together easily without encroaching on any other beachgoers. A popular cafe and lunch restaurant, Parkside Cafe, which is a five minute walk from the beach, served as a great lunch spot for the class.

Last year the class of 2015 coordinated a huge senior skip day at Baker beach where over 100 students met up and had a calm and relaxing day watching the tide crash in and dash out. “I had a blast at our senior ditch day. We all made food and did beach activities at Baker with a huge group from our class.” Senior Kenyon Watson said. “It was an open invitation so anybody who wanted to come could come, and it was just really fun to see so many classmates having fun together.” This year’s senior class did not have as big of a group, but it was still a successful day.

A major concern from the administration and faculty is the lack of attendance on senior ditch day. “Parents seem to think it’s a school sanctioned activity and it’s not. It’s a cut.” Said Assistant Principal Jan Carlson.”We want the students to be at school.” The school actually receives its own type of punishment from the students not being at school, a drop in funding. “We as a school get money when students are on campus. The state pays the school a dollar amount for every student for every day they come to school.” Assistant Principal Zach Pinkerton said. “It doesn’t matter if a parent signs a student out or if they just ditch, students need to have their butt in a seat for the school to get money from the state. This is what concerns Miramonte High School and the Acalanes Union High School District about senior ditch day, the district and school both lose money when seniors ditch school.”

The tradition of senior ditch day was well preserved by the class of 2016. Seniors enjoyed a relaxing day for one of the last times as class before they begin their epic shift from high school students to adults in the real world. Some money may have been lost, and that is a real concern, but the memories are priceless.