They were born in the shadow of 9/11 and are graduating from high school in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.
In between, today’s high school senior class grew up listening to the music of Drake, Iggy Azalea and Taylor Swift. They paid more than $8 for a movie ticket to see “Marvel’s The Avengers”and they once played a video game that saw them exploring neighborhoods and parks in search of Pokemon.
From social media to social distancing, the Class of 2020 has been like no other.
They are the smart-phone generation, never knowing a world without one.
Going to a concert or major sporting event? No need for a paper ticket. These graduates will flash an electronic ticket on their phone to gain entrance.
Taking a trip? Forget about getting directions, and be cursed if you unfold a map. That’s what GPS is for, and it is, of course, on their phones.
The Class of 2020 uses their phones for texting, tweeting, re-tweeting, listening to music, and trolling the internet. They’ve even developed their own language on their phone. TBH (to be honest), it’s really NBG (no big deal) — just a bunch of abbreviations.
Once in a while they’ll even use their phones to hold a conversation. You may hear them saying they’re in a “ship” (relationship) with a “dime” (someone who on a scale of 1 to 10 is pushing an 11), or that they just broke up with a “tope” (someone who is “totally” a “dope”).
They’ve witnessed their share of historic events, including the first black man to become president of the United States in Barack Obama. Eight years later that office would be occupied by the first reality-TV host in Donald Trump.
In the world of sports, they didn’t fully understand how crushing it could be for Ohio State to lose to Michigan on the football field. It only happened once in the last 16 years and just twice since they were born.
Christmas brought some unique gifts during their childhood. They were able to create their own music and play along to hit songs using the “Guitar, Drum and Amp by Paper Jamz.” Then there was the “must have” Zhu Zhu pets they carried around.
The magical age of 16 saw them getting jobs that paid a minimum wage of $8.30 an hour. It wasn’t much but it allowed them to buy gasoline at $2.67 a gallon and still have coin left for a burger, fries and frosty from the Kewpee.
And back to those video games.
It was about the system, be it the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, or Nintendo Wii. Loud debates were held about which one was the best.
When it came time to hang and watch TV, they tuned in Hulu and Netflix, not NBC or ABC.
The Class of 2020 will always be remembered for being robbed of their prom and graduation ceremony by an invisible virus. However, one thing that nasty bug couldn’t take away was the memories these seniors will have for a lifetime. They’ve been through something no other graduation class has experienced.
In that regard, the Class of 2020 will go down as one special group of graduates.
ROSES AND THORNS: The gesture of giving a rose deserves a rose for unkown visitors to Lima’s Woodlawn Cemetery.
Rose: Visitors are placing flowers next to the refurbished tombstone of William “Calvin” Cobean. The tombstone was the subject of a newspaper column by Bob Seggerson, who found it in bad shape and wondered about the person buried there. Cobean was a member of the Second Regiment of the Ohio Cavalry during the Civil War. He was a saddler, whose job it was to make and repair saddles and harnesses of the cavalry.
Rose: To Catherine Early of Lima, who celebrated her 100th birthday on Sunday.
Rose: More than 500 vehicles snaked through the Allen County Fairgrounds on Thursday during a distribution of 107,000 pounds of food. AEP of Ohio helped sponsor the event with a $25,000 donation to the West Ohio Food Bank. Members of the Ohio National Guard assisted in running the giveaway.
Thorn: To Barry Stevens, 54, of Lima. He fled from Findlay Police on Thursday afternoon after he was suspected of trespassing and burglary. He thought he had given Findlay police the slip when officers called off the pursuit because of bad weather. His luck ran out when troopers from the Lima Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol saw him south of Beaverdam and attempted to stop him there. A pursuit that reached speeds in excess of 115 mph followed until Allen County Sheriff’s deputies were able to deflate one of his tires near milepost 128.
PARTING SHOT: “To those of you who received honors, awards and distinctions, I say well done. And to the C students, I say you, too, can be president of the United States.” — George W. Bush, 43rd president of the United States.
Jim Krumel is the editor of The Lima News. Contact him at 567-242-0391 or at The Lima News, 3515 Elida Road, Lima, Ohio 45807.