On May 11, 2019, I had one of the most important events happen in my life as a father. Our daughter, Kathryn, graduated from the University of __________. I am purposely not going to tell you the university because it just didn’t happen at this university. It happened at HUNDREDS of university commences across the greatest country in the world.
There were over a 1,000 graduates. Sitting in chairs in the ****** Dome. We had a great seat that could see all the graduates / dignitaries / wind ensemble.
When the students heard the President of the University ask for candidates for baccalaureates (a college bachelor’s degree) stand-up, the students did not realize he was asking them to stand-up.
First little uncomfortable chuckle of the commencement.
Then, what really bothered me. During the ceremony, students getting up and going to “use” the restroom. Now, I realize when ya gotta go, ya gotta go. HOWEVER… I am guessing many of the same folks getting up to “use” the restroom were able to sit through the three-hour AVENGERS MOVIE!
Think about it!
These same university students could sit through an entire three-hour movie, but they couldn’t sit through one of the most important ceremonies in their lives? Seems a bit immature.
How about all the students who left after they received their diploma / degree? What the heck? “I got mine. It’s time go. To the hell with the rest of you!” You could see the empty chairs on the floor. You could see the empty chairs in the stands.
What is going on with people?
You couldn’t sit for three hours for a university graduation? Yet, you could sit three hours for a movie? You don’t think that is a sign of something is “off” with our society?
And then the order / structure of the commencement.
Following the tassel moving from right to left (which gets me to chuckle, because “the left” is so strong on the majority of our nation’s universities / colleges; it makes sense that the tassel would move from right to left – sad), I want that to be THE END of the ceremony! That is the end.
Okay, following the move of the tassel from right to left …do the cute thing. Bring up the alumni association rep. and he or she says, “Will all the alumni of the University of _____________ please stand up?” And then, watch how awkward it is for the NEW ALUMNI to understand she is talking to them, as well, as the guests. That is funny.
But, no! We had to have the class president stand-up and give us her “political platform.” KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE. The smattering of applause she received during and following her speech was probably the most uncomfortable part of the entire ceremony.
From the new university graduate, “If you want to do something about the $7.25 an hour minimum wage – VOTE!” Hey, checkout this idea. How about you develop a business where you can give your employees more than $7.25?
Also, please… as you sit and lecture us about your platform, how about you check the latest statistic on what university / college graduates earn per hour.
From the website… NEXT GEN PERSONAL FINANCE. The question of the day is: WHAT’S THE AVERAGE HOURLY WAGE OF YOUNG COLLEGE GRADUATES? The answer in 2018: $20.37 or about $42,000 per year. That is THREE-TIMES THE AMOUNT YOU ARE COMPLAINING ABOUT.
I get it. You want the government to make all the decisions! I get it.
Well, I would rather YOU-THE-UNIVERSITY-GRADUATE have the freedom to decide how much your employers are going to earn. If you were my age (53), you most likely would like that “freedom.”
Bottom line from my experience at the University of ________’s commencement…
We are in trouble. Students can sit for a three hour movie AND NOT SIT WITHOUT GETTING UP FOR THEIR commencement ceremony. Students and their supporters leave when they physically receive their diploma /degree. A student who does not know the audience she is lecturing to. Instead of telling us what you see is all the wrong with the nation, why not focus on the experience at the University of ____________. Ya did for a little bit. Ya could have done it for all of it.