Sunday, May 11, 2008

Congrats Kacey, and Suzanne

Today Kacey graduates from college. On her way she has made hardly any missteps, unlike me. She graduates with several honors, and has presented various papers. She also had a taste of being the local celebrity with her heading the 'human hamster wheel' project. I am very happy for her. She continues on with higher education. I would say 'I am proud of her' but I am not sure that my contribution is enough to claim that honor. I am a modest man, with much to be modest about.

By contrast, my two bachelor degrees, my masters degree, I never attended my own graduation. I was commissioned, but I completed my course work at a different time of year than graduation, and didn't care enough about the ceremony to travel from Georgia to Missouri, from California to Arizona, or even from Edwards to Fresno. When I got the Certificate in Systems Engineering, I didn't go to the ceremony for that either.

I guess I am the kind of person who doesn't stand on ceremony.

I had my fill as a high school validictorian, gave a speech which was instantly forgotten, and have very rarely returned since.

Kacey gets from me, my enduring love, a copy of the book 'Why do you care what they think Mr. Feynmann" and Dale Carnagie's book "How to Win Friends and Influence People". The point: A broad range of behavior is acceptable in humans.

Bob Heinlein had it right. A human can set a trap, kill dinner, skin it, prepare a tasty meal, write a sonnet, solve a differential equation, Specialization is for insects.

Brother Doug told me that young people feel a need to do something with their bodies. For women it is often flirting-acting-modeling-motherhood. For men it is often sports-military-philandering. Some of those are honorable, some can, with too much emphasis, lead to a lack of balance that becomes dishonorable. With luck, kids will survive their youth with traits, virtues, and skills which serve them in their maturity.

Happy Mother's day Suzanne. Certainly Kacey's success is very largely due to Kacey, but Suzanne's role was far greater than mine. Not by my choice, but I do recognize reality.


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