Congratulations on sitting through your graduation ceremony
Every graduate has surprised someone by graduating.
It’s that time of the year when graduates who worked hard to graduate, start wondering what was the hurry.
In my dream, I’d been hired to give the commencement speech to the graduates of a school that my hirer refused to divulge the name. “Just babble on for about 10 minutes. It doesn’t matter what you talk about. No one is listening,” said one of the school’s leaders. “Those speeches can be eye-glazing.”
Does anyone who is more than two weeks out of school remember their commencement speaker or the speech by their senior class president? I wouldn’t know my commencement speaker if he came up and bit me on my cellphone. My entire dream speech was, “ What we have here is not a failure to congratulate. You are what a graduate looks like and now you are smart and stuff. This is your best day ever. (I let them know right away that I was fine with flinging falsehoods about.) ‘Aba, daba, daba, daba, daba, daba, dab,’ said the chimpie to the monk. ‘Baba, daba, daba, daba, daba, daba, dab,’ said the monkey to the chimp. Don’t forget to tip your parents.”
I figured that nonsensical talk would be memorable. I’d more likely say something else in real life. something like what follows.
It’s an honor to speak to you, whoever you are. And a surprise to be addressing you today, as my freshman class voted me most likely to stay there.
Graduates, you’ve taught your teachers a lot, but your classroom has just become much bigger. You’ve come a long way since the Lord of the Flies Preschool.
Robert Frost wrote, “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.” Don’t do that. This past winter showed that Frost would have become stuck in deep snow.
Sis boom bah to each of you. That’s an exclamation of encouragement popular in school cheers, but what does it mean? Johnny Carson, playing the seer Carnac the Magnificent on TV, once held a hermetically sealed envelope that had been kept in a mayonnaise jar on Funk & Wagnalls porch to his turban and said, “Sis boom bah.” That was the answer. Then Carnac opened the envelope and read the question:
“Describe the sound made when a sheep explodes.”
Warren Buffet, when asked about the key to success, pointed to a stack of books and said, “Read 500 pages like this every day. That’s how knowledge works. It builds up, like compound interest.”
Good advice. You’ve been given other good advice. Believe in yourself. Work hard. Be thankful. Show up. A speaker is supposed to give unsolicited advice. Call your mother. Allow others to finish a sentence. Reality TV is not reality. Clean up after yourself. Listen to your parents, they have a lot invested in you. Accept limits. Particularly speed limits. Life gives you signs, especially traffic signs. Pay attention to them. Wildly successful people will tell you how wonderful failure is. Failure is awesome for others. Ask a parent, grandparent, aunt or uncle what they were like when they were your age. You’ll both be glad you did. Even your best days will have difficult moments. If you can’t figure out what you want to do, find out what you don’t want to do. If someone is going to willfully misinterpret what you say then there isn’t much point in further discourse. Don’t walk in shoes that are too small for you.
Guillaume Apollinaire wrote, “‘Come to the edge,’ he said. ‘We can’t, we’re afraid!’ they responded. ‘Come to the edge,’ he said. ‘We can’t, We will fall!’ they responded. ‘Come to the edge,’ he said. And so they came. And he pushed them. And they flew.”
Fortunately, Guillaume Apollinaire wasn’t a
I wish you a life marbled in joy and discovery. Earl Nightingale said, “We are all self-made, but only the successful will admit it.” I want you to do well, so you can fund my Social Security. Tag, you’re it. Here are a few tips to help you prosper.
Saying “Rabbit, rabbit” before anything else on the first day of a month will bring you good luck for 30 days.
Repeating things increases the processing fluency of others. Repeating things increases the processing fluency of others.
Don’t compare your Chapter 1 with someone else’s Chapter 21.
You will never feel the same about anything after this day.
Stay classy and worthy of our suspicion.
© Al Batt 2019
“Reprimanded” for Reading
1. Two pitchers in major-league history have compiled nine seasons of 40-plus saves. Name them.
2. When was the last time pitchers from the same team were the top two in leading a league in ERA for a season?
3. How long was the Air Force football team’s streak of consecutive games in which they scored before Army ended it during the 2017 season?
4. In 2018, DeMarcus Cousins recorded the 10th 40-point, 20-rebound, 10-assist game in NBA history. Which player accomplished this feat the most?
5. Who played the most NHL games in New York
6. Joe Gibbs Racing, in 2019, finished 1-2-3 at the Daytona 500. When was the last time a NASCAR team did that at this race?
7. In 2019, tennis star Novak Djokovic broke a tie with two other players to become the winningest men’s singles champion at the Australian Open (seven times). With whom had he been tied?
1. Trevor Hoffman and Mariano Rivera.
2. It was 2016, when Kyle Hendricks (2.13) and Jon Lester (2.44) of the Chicago Cubs led the N.L. in ERA.
3. It was 306 games (1992-2017).
4. Wilt Chamberlain (six times).
5. Harry Howell, with 1,160 games (1952-69).
6. Hendrick Motorsports, in 1997.
7. Roger Federer and Roy Emerson.
© 2019 King Features Synd., Inc.
Impressions from Iowa’s spring football session include, an athletic fast defense, a veteran talented quarterback poised to perhaps break the all time career touchdown passing record and a mystery over who the next great tight end will be.
The Hawkeyes notched a first in sending both T. J. Hockenson and Noah Fant to NFL teams in the first round. That’s the first time a school had two players picked at the same position. Both were worthy. Hockenson, the John Mackey award winner was tabbed by Detroit with the 8th selection and Fant, passed over by the Green Bay Packers at 12 landed in Denver with the 20th pick.
Until the coaches uncover the next Dallas Clark or Tony Moeaki, it’s on the outside receivers to produce and I honestly feel Brandon Smith and Ihmir Smith-Marsette are poised for a break out year. They certainly have the guy that can deliver the football. Quarterback Nate Stanley is 22 touchdown passes away from eclipsing the great Chuck Long’s career mark of 84. He’s averaged better than that his sophomore and junior years.
Defensively, cat quick end A. J. Epenesa will be in on most snaps and that’s bad news for opposing quarterbacks. Epenesa played mostly on passing downs last year and led the Big Ten in sacks!!!! Add in the long awaited for Daviyon Nixon at tackle, joined by Cedric Lattimore and Chauncey Golston and you have speed and athleticism to burn. The secondary is spearheaded by Geno Stone, the heir apparent to Amani Hooker and the linebackers have a valuable year of experience under their belt.
Hard to fathom the season opener with Miami, Ohio is only ninety plus days away. Where did summer go? Oh yea, we haven’t had spring or summer yet!!!!
Former Chicago Bears head coach and hall of famer Mike Ditka will be in Platteville for a fundraiser dinner Saturday June 1st at the UW Platteville Ullsvik Hall to benefit the Newman Center. This is the 35th anniversary of the Bears first training camp in Southwest Wisconsin. The Bears were at their best when working out in Platteville, winning the 1985 Super Bowl. For reservations go to pioneercatholic.org or call 608-383-5574.