The Graduate #357 5/23/2017

“I wanna glide down over Mulholland; I wanna write her name in the sky; I wanna free fall out into nothin’; Gonna leave this world for a while; And I’m free, I’m free fallin’.”
– Free Fallin’ – Tom Petty – 1989

Welcome to Drivel Over Coffee. A blog that focuses on nothing really. Caffeine induced coma from French Roast coffee and quite possibly a chocolate chip cookie. All the while my brain reverberates with the best music in the world – The ‘60’s.

Okay, let’s have a show of hands. Who remembers Mrs. Robinson? What teenage male back in the day didn’t fantasize over the prospects of a Mrs. Robinson type of liaison? I know I sure did. But, alas, it was only a fantasy. Mrs. Robinson was the lady in the movie “The Graduate” released in 1967. What does this have to do with anything you ask? Well this is the season of Proms and Graduations. Perhaps you have a graduation party or twelve to attend in the next couple of weeks. We don’t have any that I am aware of but often I am unaware until just before we walk out the door.

The Speech

You know a graduation ceremony is an event that includes a commencement speaker. Commencement speeches were invented largely in the belief that outgoing college students should never be released into the world until they have been properly sedated. The noted commencement speaker proudly tells thousands of students dressed in identical caps and gowns that ‘individuality’ is the key to success. To those of you who received honors, awards and distinctions, I say well done. And to the C students, I say you too may one day be president of the United States. Congratulations on finally wearing a tassel on something other than your nipples. Remember the golden rule of work is that the bosses’ jokes are ALWAYS funny. Now, I know that having an honorary doctorate degree will do nothing for me, but I’m here to tell you today that your degrees, the ones you toiled to get, the ones you actually took classes to earn, those degrees, will also basically do nothing. Let me clarify. You can’t exchange your degree for cash. You can’t have a degree audition or interview for you. You cannot eat it. Please don’t make love to it. You can maybe smoke it but I wouldn’t advise it. Finally, if you don’t do anything stupid when you’re young, you won’t remember something funny when you’re old…

A college president discovers on his appointment calendar a graduate back to campus for his twenty-fifth reunion. “I just wanted to take a second,” said the graduate, “to thank you for the inspirational advice you gave me at Commencement 25 years ago!” “Why, thank you,” replied the college president, who, of course, could neither remember the graduate nor what he had said. “But perhaps you could refresh my memory. What did I say that inspired you so much?” At that, the graduate leaned forward in his chair, looked earnestly at the President, and said, “I’ve tried to live my life by these words: You shook my hand and said, ‘Keep moving. Keep moving!’”

Oh, and do you remember the seemingly endless photo’s everyone took? It was graduation day and Mom was trying to take a picture of me in a cap and gown, posed with my father. “Let’s try to make this look natural “she said. “Doyce, put your arm around your dad’s shoulder.” The father answered, “If you want it to look natural, why not have him put his hand in my pocket?”

To be brutally honest, I can’t remember much about my high school graduation. We had a huge class of 21. Commencement was over in a blink of the eye. I don’t remember who our commencement speaker was or what the topic was. Amazing how that has slipped into my deep sub-consciousness. Probably sitting right next my fond memories of Geometry, English and school lunches. My classmates surely remember this event. I do know that our little small town consolidated school produced some awesome individuals. Our class of 21 easily had 1/3 to ½ of the students attend college. This was in 1964 when college was not for everyone. Remember, kids.. those high school and college friends will be life-long friends.

It’s funny how a hello is always accompanied with a goodbye. It’s funny how good memories can make you cry, it’s funny how forever never seems to last, it’s funny how much you would lose if you forgot about your past, it’s funny how friends can just leave when you’re down, it’s funny how when you need someone they never are around, it’s funny how people change and think they’re so much better, it’s funny how so many lies are packed into one love letter, it’s funny how one night can hold so much regret, it’s funny how you can forgive but not forget, it’s funny how ironic life turns out to be, but the funniest part of all, is that none of that is funny to me.

Enough reminiscing and daydreaming, my wife yelled at me saying, “You weren’t even listening just now, were you?” I thought, “Man, what a weird way to start a conversation.”

…. Well my friends, another spell-binding issue of the Drivel is put to bed. If you look closer, it’s easy to trace the tracks of my tears. “If I can make at least one-person smile, laugh till they leak, or maybe spit out a drink, then my day was not wasted. Until we meet again -TA!”

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