Santa Margarita Burning

Every year at the end of the school year, a few seniors who are graduating from Santa Margarita High School meet at the 12th hole of the Coto de Caza golf course. They bring all of their high school text books, work books, notebooks, and their school uniforms with them. They walk to the sand trap near the green of the 12th hole and throw all of their High School paraphernalia into the sand pit. Next, they pour lighter fluid all over the books and clothes for exactly twelve seconds. The number twelve marks the years of schooling they have been through; they are graduating from the 12th grade. After twelve seconds, each person involved lights a match and throws it into the pile of books and cloths. They stand around the burning sand pit until all the cloths and books are turned to ash. This ritual is meant to symbolize the moving on to the next stage of life: college.
It is natural that Ian and his friends would do a book burning because of the way American society is future oriented. We are always looking into the future and treat the past as something that is behind us. In another culture, people might find it wasteful or dumb to burn old books because they contain knowledge. However, the future oriented society we live in makes it acceptable to burn books and move on to whatever comes next.