Friday, May 6, 2011

Pomp and Circumstances

For all of you fans of "Pi Day" it is another basic math day on the calendar today:  05/06/11.  Try to keep your enthusiasm in check.  I know I shall.  And I know that if my little pea-sized brain permits me to remember it, I shall be exercise my five remaining opportunities to poke a bit of fun at you that this particular calendar year affords me. 

Enough silliness - at least from me - and at least for today.  As a coda to the events of the last week, including the wreath-laying ceremony that took place yesterday at Ground Zero in Lower Manhattan, I thought this was appropriate.  Anheuser-Busch aired that spot only one time after September 11, 2001so as to avoid being accused of seeking to cash in on the events of the day.  I choke up a bit every time I watch it.

Today in Boulder Colorado is Spring Commencement at CU.  It is difficult for me to comprehend that it was twenty-two years ago that I graduated from CU.  As my sister Jill is fond of reminding me often, it is difficult to believe that I graduated from ANYWHERE.  My degree is framed and on a wall of my office and it is signed and everything.  Honest.  The world has changed in too many ways for me to count in the two-plus decades since Schneeds and I sat next to one another inside the Events Center hoping against hope that our matching hangovers and the interminably long ceremony would declare a winner in the race of "who will last the longest".  They did not.  I know that among the things that have changed in the past twenty-two years is the ceremony's location.  A lifetime ago we were indoors at the Events Center.  Today's commencement shall take place outside at Folsom Field. 

I know not whether Ralphie leads the graduates into the stadium but if I had any say in the planning, she most certainly would.  Hmmm....perhaps that is why no one ever seeks my input when planning an event.  I hope that all of today's graduates do well and prosper - if for no other reason than it will give the kids who call annually during the University's fund-raising drive additional, fertile targets for possible donations.  If I was really at work for the amount of time that my wife has told the dollar-dialers that I am, then I would be sitting on a pile of dough sufficient to endow a chair or build a building in my honor.....although given my overall academic mediocrity I am not certain what type of building it would be.  One with many couches and a big-screen TV perhaps.  I shall not hold my breath waiting for the President's call. 

My high school Alma mater has been in the news this week - in the person of a remarkable-sounding girl named Saheela Ibraheem.  At the risk of incurring the wrath of NOW or my wife, my reference to Saheela as a 'girl' is age-appropriate.  This high school senior is only fifteen.  She will graduate from Wardlaw-Hartridge next month much as I did twenty-six years ago.  Next fall she will be a freshman at Harvard.  Before you get too impressed by her youthful achievement bear in mind that she will be 16 by the time classes start in the fall.  OK, feel free to resume being extremely impressed.  Especially when you read the part of the article detailing everything she does at school IN ADDITION TO making exceptional grades.  Somewhere, the man, the myth, the legend Frank "Hanklin" Gonzales is smiling at the seamless manner in which this young woman lives life by his "5 P's Principle" daily:  Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance.  To steal a line from Joe Jackson, "so there goes your proof."  Indeed she does, all the way to Cambridge, Mass.

According to the article I read, Saheela was accepted at thirteen colleges.  She applied to fourteen.  Yale University rejected her.  Their loss.  While I do not believe I have ever met this young lady, methinks that she will overcome this rejection.  The article noted that at present her anticipated field of study is either going to be neurobiology or neuroscience so that she can study the human brain.  Perhaps at some point in her career, presuming that she continues on her present course, she can study mine or perhaps the one from the Director of Admissions at Yale.  Both are nearly new......

.....well at least the first one. 

-AK

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