Sunday, June 7, 2009

A couple weeks ago, I had the opportunity to set up a pool table for one of my clients. This was the second one I had done in my life and I find the task to be an enjoyable and rewarding one. Here is a picture of it in the basement of the home we finished building last year:

Way off topic, we had another one of our kids finish high school a week ago.

I've been thinking a lot about the speech one of the teachers gave at the graduation ceremony last Saturday. Just one of those things that has been bouncing around in my mind for a while now.

Apparently the students voted for the teacher they wished to give the speech. I don't know if they only had one or two to pick from, maybe out of the few that throw their hats in having interest in the job, or if they can pick from all the teachers, or how that process goes, but the same guy gave the speech two years ago when our second one graduated, (last Saturday was our third).

He had some good points, the usual thoughts to be pushed at such an event, but at one point he stressed the importance of "finding a mate", (maybe not his exact words, but that is how I remember it). "People are sociable animals and need someone to live with".

Now, I have nothing against marriage, but these are high school seniors. The last thing I would want to do is promote the idea that the most important thing they need to do now is going off in the world is to find a person to be their spouse. I would also argue that there are many perfectly happy single people in the world.

I know he was using this as a jumping off point to throw some comments about God, (convinced, I'm sure, that this was a gutsy, heroic move in a public school setting), into his speech, (marriage without God will fall apart), but there are many other ways he could have done this. This isn't a marriage counseling class, these are 17 and 18 years old young adults, most of whom are going to enter some of the most stressful, confusing years of their lives right now. The last thing they need is the additional burden of "Now I have to find a spouse".

Fortunately, I doubt if any of the seniors could tell you anything he said after the ceremony.
My wife pointed afterward that, with this particular teacher, the emphasis was on the theatrics of the delivery, not the content.

A few weeks ago I watched as a well meaning adult asked my soon to be graduate the question that came probably more than any other over the past year, "So...what are you going to do after graduation?". I don't remember anything about my own graduation, but I do remember the last year of high school having that question thrown at me by many similar well meaning adults.

In this most recent incident, the response from the future graduate was, "Live life as it comes at you". A cliche for sure, but that is probably the advice I would give if I had to talk to these young adults.

Life will come at you. Guaranteed.

Hopefully, in a few years, when I have to sit through another one of these ceremonies, something a little more inspiring will be said, and in a slightly less theatrical manner. If only for us older folks who are listening.