Dear graduates 2006


Parents, teachers and distinguished members of the Class of 2006:

We made it, and by “we,” I mean “you.”

Some of you, anyway.

If you would be so kind as to stop texting each other for the next seven minutes, I can get on my words of wisdom. And then, a select few of you will head out to the parking lot to receive new cars from Mummy and Daddy.

As you may have noticed, the camera crews from MTV are here to day to shoot “My Super Sweet Graduation.” Try not to let the crying jags and frenzied caterers take away from your moment, because you’ve earned it — or were socially promoted under the No Chump Left Behind program, thus preventing any further embarrassment to you, your family or your school.

Close enough.

While that video memento won’t air until late summer, following an all-new season of “Date My Therapist,” this graduation address will be available as a podcast download by the time you toss your caps.

Yes, it’s hard to believe that four years ago, podcasting wasn’t available, completely cutting us off from hearing about what anonymous losers had for breakfast that day and how it’s so cool to be podcasting. Back in my day, all we had were blogs.

Yours is a fast-moving world. Why, when you entered these halls, your primitive iPods held only 20 gigabytes of music. Twenty?! That’s barely enough to music for 14 consecutive days.

Back then, gas cost less than a dollar a gallon. And a sincere happy-face IM was as good as your word.

Now, you’re faced with some tough choices. Do you follow in your parents’ footsteps and coast through community college, then barely escape real college with a C-minus average? Do you ship out to Iraq, not because you’ve joined the National Guard but because the war in Iraq is now the third largest employer?

Or do you head out for the open road like Kerouac, laptop with wi-fi card in hand, to see how real people live? Imagine, living life on your own terms, Starbucks to Starbucks, Wal-mart to Target, with only your wits and a credit card and an Exxon card and a cell and an AAA membership to your name.

Whatever you choose, it’s important to find yourself. Get to know who you are, your blood type, your family medical history and any allergies to medications. Because when the bird flu hits, it really won’t matter if you graduated first in your class or last.

It’s a graduation day cliché, that you are the future. But in this case, graduates, your children are the future. So make sure you take care of those prom babies, because, you know, bird flu.

What kind of world will you make for yourselves and for the next generation? I challenge you to leave the world a better place than you found it. Or, at least, take out as many people as you can on the way down.

Leave a mark. A big black scorch mark on society.

Remember this day, not as the end of learning but the start of living. The world is way bigger than MySpace, though not nearly as trampy.

In closing, I’d like to share an old saying you’ll be hearing a lot more once the Mexican takeover is complete: Reasuma su trabajo, yanqui.

Get back to work, gringo.

Thank you, congratulations, and God bless you.

• • •

Dear graduates

  • 2005: Look past the past
  • 2004: Oh the war-torn places you’ll go
  • 2003: Time of liberation at hand
  • 2002: The clarion call of Sept. 11
  • 2000: A small matter of the bill

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