MSS student performs original song on CTV

Manitoulin Secondary School Grade 12 graduating student Mackenzie Cortes wrote an original song and performed it on CTV News on Thursday of last week. The song is called ‘Graduating Without Graduation.’

MANITOULIN – A Grade 12 graduating student from Manitoulin Secondary School (MSS) wrote and performed her first original song, ‘Graduating Without Graduation,’ on the CTV Northern Ontario News broadcast last Thursday evening.

“Well, I have been watching the other musical performers (perform nightly) on the television station, and it made me want to write a song as well,” Mackenzie Cortes, who hails from Little Current, told the Recorder last Friday. CTV has been profiling musicians from around Northern Ontario the past few weeks, since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This was the first song that I totally wrote myself,” said Mackenzie, noting that she is a Grade 12 student at MSS and had been looking forward to graduation ceremonies and the prom at the end of the school year, which have been postponed.

“It took me just over two hours to write the song,” Mackenzie told the Recorder, acknowledging most of the song was written while she was “procrastinating on doing my homework” one day.

The lyrics to ‘Graduating Without Graduation’ are as follows: 

Two, zero, two, zero, what a hell of a year, 

We’ve been through so much that’s gotten us here.

Cancellations and classes online from your room,

It’s hard to learn chemistry from your laptop on Zoom.

(Verse 1) Staying up late and sleeping in,

When did all of this vivid dreaming begin?

I sleep all the time and eat even more,

I should probably go outside or just open the

But I can’t leave my home and I can’t see my

When will this quarantine come to an end?

Days pass me by, I can’t tell them apart.

I need to find another new hobby to start.

But motivation is low and the wifi is slow,

Where did my old productivity go?

And to top it all off for my senior year, 

Graduation and prom have decided to


Cuz I’m graduating without graduation

I’ll receive my diploma in my imagination

I won’t get to walk the stage,

Or shake hands and smile as I pose for the
   front page

And you won’t see me in my gown,’

Or throwing my cap up as I watch it hit the

I know there are people who have it much

But the class of 2020 is kind of cursed.

(Verse 2)

Maybe sleeping in isn’t really so bad,

It’s a nice little break from the year that we’ve

And I have to admit that I really like food,

Eating four different lunches is kind of a

So I don’t have to pay three whole dollars for

I can walk up to my fridge and make my own

There’s also more time to exercise,

And my schedule has room for things that I

And thank the Lord for video chat,

Cuz if it didn’t exist, well we wouldn’t want

But I still can’t dress up in my brand new
  prom dress,

Instead I’ll be at home in my sweat pants and
  who the hell am I trying to impress?

(Repeat chorus).

(Bridge) I’d like to take a minute to thank

Who’s working on the front lines and getting
   the job done.

Thank you grocery workers and medical

You’re the heroes of today and I’d like an

For risking your health and doing your best,

You’re the ones who stay strong when put to
  the test.

And thank you to the
  people on the suicide hotlines,

You’re doing such important work from the
  mental health sidelines. 

And thank you to everyone staying at home,

Make sure to remember that you’re never


(End Line) 

“Although all the graduates might be cursed, 

We have to remember that there are people
  who have it so much worse.”

Mackenzie told the Recorder, “I am very thankful to my teachers who are very dedicated and have answered all my questions and emails throughout this whole process of distance learning that students have been going through since the pandemic started.”