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Congrats to the Class of 2015. Now please, get off my lawn

School superintendent, Tammy Yaeger Lacey, warms up the crowd in a sweltering gym.

Last Friday I had the surreal pleasure of giving the commencement address at Great Falls High (where my wife, Leesha, went to high school).

Not wanting to give a normal speech, I decided to crowdsource all of my advice from Facebook and Twitter—creating a Top-10 list. It went over fairly well. And by fairly well, I think people momentarily forgot that it was 165° in the gymnasium. Or maybe the heat added a factor of delirium, thus making my speech more tolerable.

Speaking of speeches, folks have asked for a full transcript. Unfortunately, I don't write these things down, I kind of dance upon talking points as I speak. But, I do have the Top-10 list, so here 'tis with my commentary as delivered.

Top 10-Bits of Advice Crowdsourced from Social Media

  1. When in doubt. Be kind. (Phhh, that’s kind of lame).
  2. Be yourself but always assume that someone is recording you with an iPhone.
  3. Remind them that just because they've graduated from high school that does not mean they are extra special. Actually, just the opposite. (Congratulations, you just accomplished something that everyone in this room has accomplished, so yay us!)
  4. Please get a job. Any job. Because your parents are broke. (This one actually mentioned a name that I won’t share because I don’t want to embarrass anyone…especially you, Taylor).
  5. For the love of God, don't rely on spell check to get you thorough life. (That quote was actually misspelled).
  6. Enjoy your metabolism while you can.
  7. Get off our lawns!
  8. Christopher Walken was right, the world needs more cowbell.
  9. You won't remember this speech; you just want to get to the all-night grad party. (Be safe).
  10. According to Google, a middle class family spends roughly $240,000 to raise a child to the age of 18. If we assume a modest 8% return on investment, then these kids owe their parents approx. $259,000 dollars. I'm sure their parents will let them pay it off over 20 years. By the way your first payment of $1080.00 is due on July 5th (my math might be a little off). Good luck.

The crowd cheered for the metabolism one and especially the last one. Also, I had a cowbell and a drumstick hidden at the podium which came in handy for number eight.

A huge THANK YOU to: Jaye Wells, Rey Waltz, Briana Wipf, Jeffrey Henkin, Maryke VanBeuzekom, A. Cheryl Curtis, Jennifer Dues Bruggeman, Dee Dolores Leh, Helen Dowdell, and Lorna M. Fong. 

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