To start with, the last semester of school was busy. Like really, really busy. Like Grand Central Station for presentations, assignments, presentations, tests, presentations, papers, and presentations. (Can you tell we did a lot of presentations?)
So, I neglected my blog, and my workout routines, and my sleep. So, I apologize to all of you who have been waiting on pins and needles for the next blog post. Well, it's here!
I was not asked to give a speech at graduation. I'm not really surprised; I spoke more in class than I should have, I expressed my opinions pretty regularly, oh, and advanced standing students are like second class students.
Nobody asked me for my opinion on the occasion of our graduation, but I've never been one to wait for an invitation. If you allow me this indulgence, I'd like to share a few thoughts on graduation.
Not far from the classrooms that now sit empty is the Salt Lake City Library. This building's architecture includes a staircase that climbs the entire length and height of the structure. The staircase wraps around the building in a curve that takes the climber in a half circle and, if they are out of shape like me, leaves the climber short of breath.
At the top of the building is a panoramic view of Salt Lake City, and a a view of a small step. This step has the words, "The End" facing one way with the words, "The Beginning" facing the other. Once the person has climbed to the height of the building they see that the end of their path is really just the beginning
Arriving at graduation and concluding all learning and education would be like arriving at the top of the library and ignoring what is under one's feet. The journey must continue.
Each person at graduation today came with their own motivations and experiences and each has been supported by their own families, friends, and other support systems. None of us could have accomplished this feat without their support, advice, forgiveness, and love. I owe a great debt of gratitude to my wife and partner Deborah, my children, my entire family, and everyone else who stood by me during this time.
As we continue this journey from our education, to graduation, and beyond, let us remember the quote from Henry Haskins, "What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us."
Our potentials are great. Not because of a degree, or specific experience but because of our determination to persevere, to care for others, and our belief that the world can be changed by those who dare believe it can be done. As Tom Brokaw once said, "You are educated. Your certification is in your degree. You may think of it as the ticket to the good life. Let me ask you to think of an alternative. Think of it as your ticket to change the world."
My eternal thanks to our family, friends, and supporters. My heartfelt gratitude to our teachers, mentors and supervisors. And my congratulations to my classmates.