I know it's only April, but I wanted to get a jump on the Commencement Addresses for various Colleges, Junior Colleges, Trade Schools, and other institutions of Higher Learning, while reminding everyone I am available for such speaking engagements, to inform and inspire the Youth.
Here is the "Uncorrected Proof" of my current address to the Recent Graduate. It helps to imagine it being read in a shouting voice.
"See your future, be your future" is not just a line one may quote from the movie Caddyshack, starring Chevy Chase, Bill Murray, and Rodney Dangerfield, it is a Way to live one's life. Like millions of people, I bet, [...]
It was a supply closet off the main classroom, six feet across, with the only wall decoration being a length of pine board with a row of nails sticking out. Because of the terrible noise inside, the door was always shut. The two machines, industrial-era things that clamored and shook, spewed out a steady stream of hurt and lies and death. On this San Diego afternoon I was in the little room with my coffee, going through the accumulated Associated Press and UPI news that had cranked out of the wire machines during lunch and whatever regular classes I might have attended that day. Local stories, national and international [...]
Appearing here Wednesdays, Turning The Screw provides existential crisis counseling for the faint of heart. "Because misery becomes you."
I’m a college junior abroad at a British university for the year. During the months I’ve been here, I’ve been getting increasingly anxious and depressed about my schoolwork and general life situation, to the point where I’ll just stay in bed for days on end watching "It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia" and compulsively eating bits of compressed bread. I’ve stopped doing work, which had before been something I would always complete, no matter what. Before, other life things—things like self-image, friendships, romantic relationships, creative outlets, family life—had not [...]
Part of a two-week series on the pull of bad influences in our lives and in the culture.
I don’t remember all that much about my first year at university except that it was the year we converted from pounds, shillings and pence to "decimal currency." I shared ground-floor rooms, overlooking the Third Quad in college, with a bearded, bear-like chap I called (for reasons which need not detain us) Eighty Two. He was impossibly good: for all practical purposes a saint. His father ran a school for the blind. He had just spent part of his gap year (though the term wasn’t in use back then) in a 12th-century [...]
"By any financial measure, the investment in a college degree is the winning choice, with a rate of return of a whopping 15.2% a year on the $102,000 investment for those who earn the average salary for college graduates. This is more than double the average rate of return in the stock market during the last 60 years (6.8%), and more than five times the return to investments in corporate bonds (2.9%), gold (2.3%) long-term government bonds (2.2%) or housing (0.4%)." —You should totally go to college, say some guys from the Brookings Institution. I reluctantly agree! I mean, I used to think college was a total scam, [...]
Thanks to the college basketball championships, in which both Richmond, Virginia-based teams (Virginia Commonwealth University and the University of Richmond) performed admirably, we had cause to ponder, "Not sure why people are so into Richmond, Virginia." That's a reasonable question! Richmond is a mostly busted-ass city on the banks of the James River that's played host to such luminaries as George Allen, and also George Allen's wife—what's her name, the one who married George Allen. It's best known as the capital of the Confederacy, and, as many of the old-school Richmondites—by which I mean the "racist" ones—will probably tell you, that's basically where the city peaked.
The guy from the White House advance team steps out of one of those crossover SUV things and at first I think he's the sort of awful D.C. jerkface who had to get his dad to call in a favor to stop him from getting fired from his summer internship for looking at porn during business hours, but once he leads us inside the gym (which is where the rally will be the next day) and I get a good look at him, I realize how wrong I was. This man is dreamy. He looks like he used to smoke pot very neatly out of a one-hitter and was [...]