Commencement

Message on back of work uniform at local McDonald’s: “Keep calm, wash your hands” – an apparent and appropriate message for both customer and server.

Parker is a senior at Eastview HS in Rosemount-Apple Valley ISD 196.

Last year, September 11, 2019, I observed and commented that the children born on Sep 11, 2001, were all having their 18th birthday.  It is now about nine months later, and we’re in about the third month of “quarantine birthdays” during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Around 53,000,000 K-12 students of which over 3,000,000 are seniors, will mostly finish their school year at home, as most schools are closed.  (The book of national education statistics can be accessed here.)

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Every one has their personal stories.   Two of our grandkids are in the class of 2020, for instance; four grandkids have already graduated; three more enroute.   And on and on it goes.

Last night we watched a one hour virtual graduation featuring, among others, lots of seniors, plus Barack Obama, Malala and LeBron James, and other celebrities.  The real appeal was the representatives of the graduates themselves.  It was a very  uplifting hour, broadcast widely, and I hope it is repeated.   President Obama’s 7-minutes can be watched here.  Here is commentary about the program from ABC News.

Doubtless, there are other virtual graduations to come.  I hope to watch some of them.

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The last eighteen years has been quite a childhood for the youth of America, and we’re just beginning the next round.  Most of the rest of us experienced the last 18 years in America as well, and this is a good time to take a clear-eyed look back at our personal, national and global experiences.  We have an opportunity, now, to learn something from our past.  Will we take the bait?

A short while ago, driving in the nearby suburb of Newport, I noticed an immense and still live old tree on a vacant lot.

The old tree lives on, and could it talk, has a great deal of wisdom to share.  What lessons could it teach all of us.  What travails has it survived?  What can we learn from this “elders” experience?  From our own elders?

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And what can we learn from this now-old song, which I was reunited with recently?

“Freedoms just another word for nothin’ left to lose.  Nothin’ ain’t worth nothin, but it’s free.” from “Me and Bobby McGee”, by Kris Kristofferson and Fred Foster, listen here, as interpreted by Roger Miller in 1969.

What are the takeaway messages of “Me and Bobby McGee”?

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One teacher of many on drive-through parade at Oltman Middle School, South Washington County, May 4, 2020. Many parents and students did the drive-by visit to the school.

COMMENTS (additional comments at the end of these):

from Molly:  I sure do appreciate your latest post. Also, thanks for the link to the Obama speech–I was about to look for it!  I am just so glad to be part of your community.

from Laura: Thanks, Dick!  I concur…

from Judy:  Dick, good for you…I go with the scientist as well.  Trump and his supporters don’t get it.

from Joyce: Thank you for this, Dick; Eric and I are applying for absentee ballots this year. We both love voting on Election Day, but we just don’t think it will be safe this year. Meanwhile, I have a pin that looks just like the “I Voted” stickers you get after voting, except mine is enamel, and it says, “I VOTE”.

from Tom: Enjoyed it, Dick!  Thanks for sharing.

 

 

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