Pomp and Circumstance

When I am not in Azeroth, I am a high school teacher.

Yesterday my school had its graduation ceremony. It’s a huge event, held in a large indoor arena (where the Orlando Magic play). We had over 500 students graduate and nearly 8000 guests in the seats watching. The ceremony begins by the playing of the well-known song Pomp and Circumstance. The faculty, dressed in graduation robes, files into the arena and makes two parallel rows. This provides a path for the students to enter, walking between the two rows of teachers. Its a great photo opportunity, and it is very exciting for the students to walk proudly past all of the teachers that they have had for the previous four years.

For many of the students, high school graduation is the biggest moment thus far in their lives. Its nice to go to lengths to make it special for them.

What the students don’t know is that a portion of the teachers don’t want to be there. A whole bunch would rather do anything that sit through the two hour ceremony. A few years ago the rows of teachers were so obviously small that it drew negative comments. After that, the principal made it mandatory. Still, several teachers spend they days before graduation trying to find ways to get out of it. Some feign illness, while others show up, make sure they are seen, and then duck out a back door when the ceremony begins and no one will notice their absence.

Yes, the ceremony is a time when the teachers are not accomplishing anything. They sit in a chair for two hours and gain nothing from the time spent. But their presence makes the event memorable for the students. Isn’t that worth it? Is it such a problem to spend some time for the benefit someone other than yourself?

There is a life lesson there, and it applies in WoW as well.

You are online farming in your fully epic-geared raiding toon, and a newly dinged 70 in your guild asks to put together a Shadow Lab run. Do you stop your farming to go, even though there is nothing for you to gain from Shadow Lab? Do you spend the time explaining the fights, perhaps using consumables, and paying a repair bill even though you personally stand to gain nothing?

Or do you feign afk? Maybe claim that you were just getting ready to log off, then quickly switch over to a toon that is not in the guild so no one knows you are still playing? Perhaps say that your girlfriend/boyfriend/husband/wife/mother is coming over and you don’t have time for a run?

For many players, dinging 70 is the most important moment in their WoW lives thus far. It opens up a whole new aspect of the game. There are a slew of new instances that are only for 70s, lots of gear, flying mounts, etc… that might eventually lead to raiding. The path to 70 is long and arduous and when a player gets there it would be nice if it were special. But in order to make it special it takes help from others.

A guild is not just there to help YOU. It is there for the benefit of all involved. The most important contribution you can give to a guild is not your gear or your skills. Give your time. Make the game fun for others beside yourself.


7 Responses to “Pomp and Circumstance”

  1. 1 Cory
    June 5, 2008 at 11:39 am

    wow, your graduation ceremony is a lot bigger than ours! That’s what I get for going to a private school I guess. We had only had about 150 graduates. But yes, I do agree that it is important to have all of the teachers at the ceremony. It seemed like even all of the faculty members were also there in their robes because there were some people I didn’t even recognize. I never thought that the teachers didn’t actually want to be there, but maybe you are right.

  2. 2 Rochmoninoff
    June 5, 2008 at 2:05 pm

    It’s wierd but I have the opposite problem.
    My main recently got to a point that is close to “finished” (I’ve gotten all the gear I can reasonably expect to get w/o becoming a hardcore raider and moving up the progression chain).

    so for me it’s MORE fun to go help new 70s run instances or complete group quests than it is to grind rep/gold.

    Lately I’ve been leveling ALTs and only playing my main
    a) to help other people
    b) to complete 10 arena’s per week.

    Does this mean that I’m getting tired of WoW?

  3. June 9, 2008 at 12:34 pm

    Absolutely agree — up to the point where the individual is excluded for the greater good of all. I follow a similar philosophy and am one of the people who willingly put aside what I’m doing to help others in my guild or in my raid or even just people I met a while back and still interact with. However, a few months ago I let that build so much that I was dreading anyone logging in to ask for a run through this instance or to help farm mats for someone else.

    So, helping others is good and I fully advocate chipping back in. However, it’s important to not stretch yourself too much or forget to do what you want.

    Wonderful parallel!

  4. 4 gus
    June 9, 2008 at 4:59 pm

    Balance go and help but don’t let it stop your own progression otherwise you’ll start to feel your guild is holding you back before looking for greener pastures.

    There are places which give no benefit at all to my rogue so if I can send one of my lower alts instead I’m more than happy to do so if that’s not possible maybe try to make it a heroic run at least that way you get a chance at gems & badges

  5. September 10, 2009 at 7:57 am

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