that's right--he was the guest speaker at graduation today. there had been rumors for several months. "ben affleck is coming." "ben affleck is really coming." "is ben affleck even going to show?" "i like matt damon better."
several women in the department have been cooing and oohing about ben affleck, their biggest question being, "will he eat lunch with us?" well, it turns out, yes.
i had finished eating lunch and was chatting with some colleagues when i noticed a man in a suit walk into the reception room. i thought, "he's overdressed for this," and went back to discussing teachers who worked apparently worked in our school but we had never seen until today. suddenly people start shuffling toward the man, cameras come out. then i realized who he was. ben affleck.
you know, he isn't as tall as he looks on tv. i'd peg him at possibly six feet tall? i always imagined he was taller, but perhaps he's only relatively tall when he stands next to matt damon. he also wasn't as attractive as i expected. in fact, he looked pretty average. granted, he's more attractive than the average man in virginia, but still average.
the seniors were able to book ben affleck because he has a relationship (friendship) with one of our physically disabled students, joe. ben met joe years ago while filming "Forces of Nature" at Dulles Airport, and they've been friends since (with some help from the Make-a-Wish Foundation).
his speech wasn't awe-inspiring, but it was better than i expected. (obviously, i had very low expectations of his man.) he actually has a sense of humor, even inserting self-deprecating remarks about "Gigli" ("Joe liked the script for 'Daredevil' better than 'Gigli,' but he would never admit to it.") and "Forces of Nature." ben muttered occasionally, but overall, his speech was good. he joked about people who used famous people's quotes, then added that he apparently liked hypocrisy since he would be quoting someone famous too.
susanna was absolutely star-struck. she tried her best to contain her excitement and stay composed. :)
i still don't think he's a good actor, but he does good things for good kids. i'll give him a few points for that.
and thank you, ben, for making what was already a great day into the most memorable days of these students' lives.