This morning I attended an awards ceremony at my daughter’s Middle School. Monika won a number of medals and accolades for jazz band, orchestra, French, volunteer work, and a 4.0 GPA. One certificate of merit nicely described Monika as “creative, confident, and kind.” I’m proud of her and was glad I could attend. I can’t say the same for anything else about the occasion, however. At first I thought the nausea in my stomach came from the coffee I had this morning. Then I thought it was perhaps the pathetic spectacle of all these malodorous mammals congregating in the school gym to clap like seals every five seconds when a teacher announced an award for their offspring. Eventually I realized that the principal’s voice and her less-than-stellar speaking ability were the culprits. If Dante had a Tenth Circle, she'd be giving a welcoming speech as the reprobates entered their doom.