Friday, May 07, 2010

Friday Morning Videos: "Man in Motion" (Special Graduation Edition!)

Tomorrow is commencement here at Friends University; it'll be my fourth commencement at Friends, signaling the longest I have ever taught at one place. And, just in case there is any doubt, as of now I hope it'll be the last place I ever teach as well, so I am looking forward to many more commencement ceremonies to come.

I like traditions and ceremonies, as is probably obvious to anyone who reads this blog. But this one seems particularly significant to me: this is the first time that I'll be watching students I have known for their entire university careers cross the stage and receive their diploma. Kids that I have known since they were freshman (some of them, anyway), now receiving their duly earned credentials and going forth, having completed the last of our culture's primary middle-class meritocratic obstacles, looking for what comes next. I went to college and graduate school for a total of eleven years myself, so four doesn't seem that long to me...but every year, there are kids and parents and friends with tears in their eyes, thinking that the previous four years have been difficult, precious, and transforming ones indeed. It'll be a fine thing to see that, maybe, in some students I have known all along.

So, graduation, which often means life changes, growing up, facing the unknown, leaving old friends, charting a new path, all that jazz. What better way to acknowledge that sobering, hopeful time than with a hammy, rousing, triumphant pop song ("I can see a new horizon, underneath the blazin' sky...") about a bunch of overly pretty, star-crossed college graduates facing the rest of their lives? Ladies and gentlemen, I give you John Parr. And to those folks I've gotten to know well over the past four years--Cole, Kathryn, and others--go forth and conquer! (And please, drive home safely.)

1 comment:

AbbotOfUnreason said...

Is it just today's internet connection or is that the worst lip-syncing ever?

I really like these looks into the past.