Friday, June 13, 2008

The Commencement Address Never Delivered

Congratulations Class of 2008 at Podunk University!

As you pause here on your path through life, let our final words be brief, for we know all too well you really do not want to be sitting here on this hot, humid day. Neither do we. You are only here because your parents want to see with their own eyes the fruits of their over-investment in you and our glorious institution, Dear Olde P. U. Besides, they also promised you an expensive dinner.

Let us honor first all the chord wearers: the magnas, summas, cums, and honor roll recipients. Your academic excellence is a source of pride to your parents and to us.

Let us now especially honor the rest of you, the silent majority, who have been academic underachievers at Podunk. I ask you to put down your cell phones and flasks as you stand for recognition. I especially salute you for I too am one of you. Let me point out that I am giving this commencement address rather than my chorded classmates because I have been the great success in life. I gave the million dollars to endow the dining room/pub.

Parents, four, five, six, seven years ago you said a tearful farewell to your 17, 18, 19, 20, 21 year old sons and daughters as they entered the hallowed elms of Podunk. And now, one, two, three, four, five majors later, they graduate. Well, maybe. We let everyone walk. We won’t know for another two weeks if they actually satisfied the conditions for graduation.

For those of you who graduated on the 4 year plan, please stand and be recognized. We will truly miss you, especially your tuition dollars.

Our scholar/athletes did not win many games, but we were able to keep them academically eligible through summer school and especially the Herculean efforts of our popular Professor James Smith and his hundreds of directed research courses in Popular Culture.

Parents, you trusted us with the education of your brilliant child. We have fulfilled that trust by providing your child a wonderful education in the meaning of life and self, the details of which need not concern you. Occasionally, on an all too rare a time, they stumbled into class.

Parents, when your children entered our campus, they were at the stage in life when they were embarrassed to be seen with you. Now that our degree tells them how brilliant they are, they recognize how stupid you are in comparison to their omniscience, which word they may not understand.

Parents, you are so elated because no longer will your son or daughter be on your health, auto insurance, or cell phone plan. Nor will they be bringing home their dirty laundry for you to clean.

Wrong! Children are the gift of life that never stops receiving.

Graduates, just because you will no longer pay us tuition, do not ever think your payments to us will cease. We own you. You will write us out a check every year to spend any dammed way we please. Your checks will get bigger as your own children reach college age and seek admissions as a legacy. You will even remember us in your will. You can run from us, but not hide for our development officers are more relentless than the IRS or FBI.

One last admonition to you distinguished graduates. Do not follow the path of last year’s commencement speaker, who has since pled guilty to attempting to bribe a judge.

Remember parents that your generation tuned in, turned on, and dropped out. You achieved and so will they.

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