Utterly Meaningless » Blog Archive » ONE DOWN, THREE TO GO

ONE DOWN, THREE TO GO

Filed at 4:42 pm under by dcobranchi

Anthony officially graduated yesterday. It was a very nice event. Just our small co-op. All of the kids who participated in co-op classes were recognized, and then we had the actual graduation ceremony. I got to deliver the keynote address. Pretty fun.

It was neat seeing three boys (er, young men) who we have known for years make the transition out of homeschool and into college. All three will be attending one of the local community colleges next year.

10 Responses to “ONE DOWN, THREE TO GO”


Comment by
JJ
June 13th, 2010
at 5:11 pm

So, what did you SAY?? 🙂


Comment by
dcobranchi
June 13th, 2010
at 5:23 pm

I’d first like to thank you for giving me an opportunity to share a few thoughts in honor of our 2010 graduates: Chris, Alec, and Anthony. In the public speaking class, Lydia taught that it’s a good practice to start off a speech with a joke or funny anecdote. Strangely, there just aren’t very many funny secular homeschooling graduation jokes, so I’ll try to get philosophical instead. That brilliant observer of the human condition, Garrison Keiller once said that commencement speeches were invented largely in the belief that outgoing high school students should never be released into the world until they have been properly sedated. I hope that the following is sufficiently soporific.

This is not the first time that I’ve addressed a graduating class. Exactly 30 years ago this week I stood before my own class. That class had chosen “The Road Not Taken” as its theme. I’m sure some of you have studied it. Maybe even had to memorize it. That group of seniors long ago had latched onto the last stanza of the poem: “Two roads diverged in a wood and I, I took the road less travelled by. And that has made all the difference.”

It was a good theme for a bunch of ambitious 18-year-olds, ready to take on the world. To show the system who was boss. To “introduce a little anarchy, upset the established order” as the Joker said. Every generation looks at the next older one and just knows that they’ll do better. There was a saying back then: Never trust anyone over 30. Of course, the folks who said that are now in their 50s and 60s.

But there was a problem with our grabbing hold of Frost’s poem as some kind of marching orders. We misinterpreted it.

It’s not about revolution. It’s about life. Specifically, choices. Every fork in a road or path in the woods presents a choice: Left? Or right? And there is no option for “all of the above.” There’s a bumper sticker you see around that reads “Choose life.” Skipping by the whole politics of that statement they’re right. To live is to choose.

So, our graduates are looking at some large choices: education, career, someday (but not too soon, guys), marriage. Every choice can change the future. Big choices and little ones. Even something as trivial as choosing catsup or mustard on your hamburger.

They’ll have lots of options to choose from. Education is just one. Some of the kids in this room may choose to go into the performing arts. Some into the military. Some may get married and start a family right after graduating. And some may start a business or work for an existing one. All of these are honorable choices and are honored here.

But our 2010 grads have all chosen to pursue an education. Their choices will help determine their future. Where they go and what they study can dramatically influence where they’ll live, who their lifelong friends will be, who they’ll marry.

So Chris has chosen to go to Fayetteville Tech to study Criminal Justice. Perhaps someday he’ll arrest other homeschool grads who rob convenience stores or run crystal meth labs in their rooms. Anthony has chosen to study Video game development, also at FTCC. We are hopeful that 23½ hours a day on the computer will someday finally pay off. And Alec has chosen to be Sandhills Community College’s first quadruple major. He’ll be qualified for just about anything in the world. They have all chosen wisely. Thomas Anderson once said “The problem is choice.” And, really, so is the solution. Because to choose is to change and to change is to potentially grow. Bijaz the Dwarf said “There is nothing firm, nothing balanced, nothing durable in all the universe. Nothing remains in its state and each day, sometimes each hour brings change.

So, 2010 grads, your family and friends wish you good fortune. May all your roads lead to success and happiness.

Thank you.


Comment by
Alasandra
June 13th, 2010
at 5:26 pm

Congratulations.

Great speech.


Comment by
dcobranchi
June 13th, 2010
at 5:33 pm

Thanks. I probably should explain the convenience store/crystal meth joke. Chris, Anthony, and Alec were all in my Civil Liberties class. Throughout the year I used Alec and Anthony as examples. Alec had always been accused of robbing a convenience store and Anthony of running a crystal meth lab in his room.

All of the kids in the class got the joke.


Comment by
COD
June 13th, 2010
at 6:30 pm

Congratulations to Anthony. And getting Frost, The Joker, and Dune into one speech wasn’t a bad job by you either Dad.


Comment by
dcobranchi
June 13th, 2010
at 6:40 pm

Will do.

Thanks. I got in a Matrix quote and a modified one from the 3rd Indiana Jones, too. 🙂


Comment by
dcobranchi
June 13th, 2010
at 6:43 pm

@COD: I’m impressed that you knew who Bijaz was.


Comment by
Traci
June 14th, 2010
at 12:18 pm

Congrats! I am so happy for your family.


Comment by
Valerie
June 14th, 2010
at 11:30 pm

[applause]


Comment by
don
June 15th, 2010
at 12:10 am

But what about socialization?