Apart from the joys of graduation, made even more so when it is one of one's own who is doing the graduating, Commencement is a time for collecting pearls of wisdom and there were quite a few this year. "Those who have been helped have a duty to pay it forward" advised Kuanapawa Nangula, a native of Namibia graduating with her Masters degree in TESOL. Kuana gave the graduate student address so eloquently with a wonderful dash of humor when she threatened to give the full five minute presentation in her "native tongue".
Michael McKinney, the senior class speaker, created a powerful image when he described a dream of "burning stars" - the light of St. Michael's College. He went on to describe many experiences and lessons learned at St. Mike's that have provided the fuel for those stars to burn well into the future.
And then there was the Commencement speaker, Thomas Freston (67), the creator of MTV who suggested that students should "tread in the footsteps of the future". He also advised students that there is "no rush to be normal", something that I could really identify with. Perhaps his greatest pearl of wisdom was that "passport ink is better than tat ink". I've never heard anyone make a plea for worldliness and global understanding quite like this before but he is absolutely right. The way forward really is in developing a global perspective through travel and the use of one's passport regardless of the field one chooses.
As for me, my pearl of wisdom which my daughter Marie has heard so many times is "it just goes to show" as in "it just goes to show what you can achieve when you really try". Congrats on your M.Ed, Swish.