There is an amazing range of emotion in this photo by the "Local Paper's" Diedra Laird - showing the North Mecklenburg High School class of 2011. Look closely, from elation to despair it has been captured, a moment in time made un-mistaken and absolute.
During the last couple of weeks there have been scores of graduations and with all the time honored traditions. There are of course the commencement exercises, some big, some memorable, many small, some so large that you you have to claim your diploma on Monday.
There are of course speakers at graduation the Class President speaks, the department heads speak, your parents speak, even your great Aunt Edna speaks. Everyone is talking except you. There you stand wearing a goofy cap and gown, while the entire world makes a fuss over something you either couldn't wait to get over with or like an execution hoped would never come.
The key note address is usually painful, someone talking about nothing, and its so painfully boring that you think you might die right there in your seat. But there are exceptions.
This may well be the best and most original commencement address ever delivered. Brad Delson, UCLA alum and guitarist for Linkin Park, strips down to a Bruins b-ball jersey and shorts; channels Britney Spears; talks about James Franco, Conan O'Brien, Jamie Foxx and Ellen DeGeneres; and offers some poignant words of wisdom in his spirited keynote address at the UCLA College of Letters and Science commencement ceremony on June 12, 2009.
Part 2 is here.
I have no advice for recent grads, just be warned from now on life moves faster, and a decade will pass and you will wonder what the hell happend.
I think the best advice ever given to graduates is this:
They're not that different from you, are they? Same haircuts. Full of hormones, just like you. Invincible, just like you feel. The world is their oyster. They believe they're destined for great things, just like many of you, their eyes are full of hope, just like you. Did they wait until it was too late to make from their lives even one iota of what they were capable? Because, you see gentlemen, these boys are now fertilizing daffodils. But if you listen real close, you can hear them whisper their legacy to you. Go on, lean in. Listen, you hear it? - - Carpe - - hear it? - - Carpe, carpe diem, seize the day boys, make your lives extraordinary. - John Keating Dead Poets Society
Congratulations Class of 2011!