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A few words for the IPHS Class of 2007
5/24/07

In this week’s column I wish to address the IPHS graduating class of 2007. The rest of you should feel free to read it, too, since it will be chock full of wisdom nuggets and homemade vanilla ice cream.

Eat ‘til you’re full.

Ok. Graduating seniors, I commend you for the successful completion of 12 years in this country’s exemplary education process, and tomorrow I will applaud each of you individually as you traverse across the stage and swipe a diploma from someone’s hands.

Now, following those ceremonies, go straight home, grab a pillow, clean out a corner of your closet, and lay down in the dark in a fetal position. Feel free to pray.

We’ll call when it’s safe to come out again.

Wait a minute. That is another commencement address altogether, written in a much darker mood. Forget all I just said and let’s start over.

You, the 2007 Class of IPHS, are not yet at the crossroads but are very, very close. Time to shape up and wake up on your own. You’ve got a lot of work to do. Sprinkled with a lot of fun, too, but that’s another story and I’ll inject something about moderation before I’m through with your happy tails.

You are a motley crew, for sure. Among you are insanely smart and talented young people, funny and engaging characters, some seriously bent to their future, and some laid back like permanent couch potatoes with a remote in one hand and a cellphone in the other, undoubtedly waiting for the flood of calls with life’s next choices.

I can see some of you hitting the big time whether it be in business or the arts.

I see some of you getting consistently good reviews as a prison guard.

A few of you will own your own business. Still more will climb the ranks of a larger corporation, and return for the 10-year reunion driving a shiny new hybrid.

A large number of you can’t wait to step out the high school’s door and past the city limit signs to your next adventure. Some of you are perfectly comfortable living in the 76367 zip code. All of you will retain a vested interest in this community, and want to know who is doing what. Our subscription rates are very reasonable, so get one soon before you spend all your graduation money.

Better yet, tell Aunt Ione it makes a perfect graduation gift, then spend the $20 you saved on a good meal and lottery tickets.

Here are a few bullet points of advice from me to you, the Class of 2007 –
• Keep in touch with your classmates. Email and cellphones are making it so easy these days, no matter how much distance is between you all;
• Use that email and cellphone to keep in touch as well with your family. Better yet, visit family face-to-face as often as possible ... they are your lifeline, and likely your most-trusted friends;
• Think hard and often and soon about what you want to be doing in 10 years. Set goals, and discipline yourself to make them a reality;
• Be honest. Always. You can’t put a price tag on personal integrity.
• Keep a sense of humor.
• Send me money when you have money to burn, because burning money smells bad;
• Enjoy your life the best you can. The clock is ticking, and the second hand is gaining momentum;
• Finally, stay hard, stay hungry, stay alive.
My best wishes to all of you.



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