Wednesday, May 12, 2010

marking time

It takes courage to grow up
and become who you really are.

~e.e. cummings


Another of life's crossroads, rite of passage, a momentous day!

I received this graduation announcement in the mail the other day, it has been a long time since I have seen one of these. In our extended family, the last one to graduate in our kids' generation was Carrie back in 2000.

Now the first one in the next generation is graduating, our sister's grandson, high school class of 2010.

So it begins again, over the next few years we will have quite a few graduation ceremonies to attend, let's see, one this year in 2010, one in 2011, two in 2012, one in 2013, four in 2015!

Wow where does the time go?

What will these kids do after high school? Go to college? Get a job? Can they find work? Can they afford to live out in the world? Have we taught them enough to be able to do that? Will they stay in this small town or tackle the big city?

For now, it is a good reason to gather together with the whole family and do what we do best - eat and talk and laugh, enjoying each other's company, hearing the latest news, and this time we will be giving young Justin all of our worldly advice. Poor Justin!

Or we could share the 11 rules, given in a high school graduation speech by Bill Gates, but actually written by Charles Sykes, author of Dumbing Down Our Kids:

Rule 1: Life is not fair, get used to it.

Rule 2: The world won't care about your self-esteem. The world will expect you to accomplish something before you feel good about yourself.

Rule 3: You will not make 40 thousand dollars a year right out of high school. You won't be a vice president with a car phone until you earn both.

Rule 4: If you think your teacher is tough, wait till you get a boss. He doesn't have tenure.

Rule 5: Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your grandparents had a different word for burger flipping; they called it opportunity.

Rule 6: If you screw up, it's not your parents' fault so don't whine about your mistakes. Learn from them.

Rule 7: Before you were born your parents weren't as boring as they are now. They got that way paying bills, cleaning your room, and listening to you tell them how idealistic you are. So before you save the rain forest from the blood-sucking parasites of your parents' generation, try delousing the closet in your own room.

Rule 8: Your school may have done away with winners and losers but life has not. In some schools they have abolished failing grades, they'll give you as many times as you want to get the right answer. This, of course, bears not the slightest resemblance to anything in real life.

Rule 9: Life is not divided into semesters. You don't get summers off, and very few employers are interested in helping you find yourself. Do that on your own time.

Rule 10: Television is not real life. In real life people actually have to leave the coffee shop and go to jobs.

Rule 11: Be nice to nerds. Chances are you'll end up working for one...

So congratulations to Justin and all the graduates out there! If it all becomes too overwhelming, just remember what Dr. Seuss said:

You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself in any direction you choose.
You're on your own.
And you know what you know.
You are the guy who'll decide where to go.
~Dr. Seuss

1 comment:

Melissa Scott said...

Great blog mom and thanks for reminding me of the speech. I need to put that on my chalkboard wall or maybe even paint it on a wall!

One correction the four last graduations are Class of 2015 not 2014.