Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Back to the Future...

Up until last summer I lived my life in academic years. Both my parents were teachers and from when I was three on, I went to school. I graduated college and started working at the university level in athletics, so I basically just stayed in school. Ten months into my current 9-5, corporate setting job I finally feel like I'm living in a normal calendar year. But 23 years of school - God that's a frightening thought - have left me with a fondness for the month of June and that "last day of school" feeling. 

It is graduation season, and ABC News' website had a story on this year's crop of graduation speakers who have the challenge of coming up with something to say to college grads who are facing the worst job market/economy in many, many years. That is not a task I would want. My speaker, way back in 2004 when the getting was still good, spent 20 minutes of my life talking about his research on the Human Genome Project (for which he did not get credit, he was keen to note) with bitterness dripping from every word, much like the monsoon that was falling on our heads. I would have preferred JK Rowling or Big Bird. The speakers this year seem to have struck a good balance of realism and optimism.

This next story is a follow-up to one I had recently on Myron Rolle. He too travels around the country speaking to high-schoolers about his life and the choices he made to get to be a star safety and Rhodes Scholar. The Wisconsin State Journal details a speech he gave to African-American high-school seniors in Madison about the necessity of education in reaching your goals. The child of two teachers and a fan of learning myself, I don't care what color you are or if you play a sport...Rolle's message is a good one.

Both the graduation speakers and Myron Rolle talk about having hope for and in your future. One little Iraqi girl is on the road to having a hopeful future herself after being blinded in a roadside bombing that killed her mother. She and her father flew to England, according to the Palestine Telegraph, to for her to have reconstructive surgery and receive prosthetic eyes. For all the PC-ness in the US we forget the rest of the world still views disfigurement and disability as something akin to leprosy. Because of the generosity of Sunday Times readers who donated money, the little girl can now have a chance to be a productive member of Iraqi society.

(Photo Credit: AP)

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