Collections: Thoughts and Things Celebrate, Create, Contemplate. Repeat.

Commencing to Commencement

It’s a big big weekend for many families and students. College and High School graduation season is upon us. A month of milestones.

Grad Postcard 1910

Postcard circa 1910

Seems like we were just turning to wave goodbye as our precious babies boarded the bus for the first day of kindergarten? Kindergarten busYesterday, right?

Today is college graduation for the daughter of my college buddy! Just this once I will write Go Cougs! and mean it. Woo hoo. We have another month before breaking out the tissues as our senior is in the midst of IB testing, prom, dorm forms, and on the cusp of a flurry of senior activities. (You did pick up the graduation tickets, right . . . ?) Word on the street is she might clean her room before graduation too. A mom can dream.

Now, about bigger dreams.

Roots and wings.

Good stuff from past speeches.

“I just want to pause for a moment on the word ‘invent’ because the phrase isn’t ‘succeed in the future,’ it’s not ‘plan for the future’ or ‘do the best you can in the future.’ It’s ‘invent the future.’ And with those three words comes a simple message: a call to chart your own course and live life on your own terms… In the end, it’s up to each of us to define ourselves. It’s up to each of us to invent our own future with the choices we make and the actions we take.” Michelle Obama (Virginia Tech)
Never give in. Never give in. Never, never, never, never–in nothing, great or small, large or petty–never give in, except to convictions of honor and good sense. Never yield to force. Never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy. Winston Churchill (Harrow School) 
The commencement speech Winston Churchill gave to his old preparatory school in 1941 isn’t just famous because he’s Winston Churchill – it is also the shortest such speech on record.  
The knowledge that you have emerged wiser and stronger from setbacks means that you are, ever after, secure in your ability to survive. You will never truly know yourself, or the strength of your relationships, until both have been tested by adversity. Such knowledge is a true gift, for all that it is painfully won, and it has been worth more than any qualification I ever earned.  J.K. Rowling (Harvard University)  
Before she published Harry Potter, she was an unemployed single parent one step away from homelessness. Rowling shared the value of failure and the importance of imagination.
“This is not to suggest you should say ‘YES AND’ to every opportunity presented to you. Now, I know what you’re thinking, ‘Jane, what about doing porno?’ To which I say I am as surprised as you are that I was never offered that opportunity. But would I have said yes to that? What if life gives us the opportunity to rob a bank or a way to cheat on our taxes or say it offers us several hours in a row of life with the Kardashians…hours that we can never get back? To this I say: you can always trust that when you’re coming from your highest self and from your heart, you’ll know when you should say ‘YES AND,’ and when to engage the awesome power of ‘NO WAY.’ Jane Lynch (Smith College)

“As you start your journey, the first thing you should do is throw away that store-bought map and begin to draw your own … “Don’t spend so much time trying to choose the perfect opportunity, that you miss the right opportunity. Recognize that there will be failures, and acknowledge that there will be obstacles. But you will learn from your mistakes and the mistakes of others, for there is very little learning in success.” Michael Dell (University of Texas at Austin)  Founded Dell Computers with $1,000 and the idea to sell computers directly to customers.

 Congratulations to the Class of 2014

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