7/14/15

Commencement Address . . .

I went to a small high school so our commencement speaker was . . . no one (Valedictorian and Salutatorian notwithstanding). Former NBA legend (and more importantly Rhodes Scholar, Princeton grad, U.S. Senator (from the great state of New Jersey (a.k.a. the "Garden State")) and Presidential Candidate Bill Bradley spoke at my undergraduate ceremony (I was literally too drunk to really remember it). The splendid (in every way) Secretary (of State) Madeline Albright spoke at my graduate ceremony (I was blissfully 800 miles away from The Elipse that day). 

I've watched dozens of other college graduation speeches over the years (particularly since YouTube and C-SPAN conspired to make it interesting) and I've seen great ones, horrible ones, and most of them - like any good bell curve - were somewhere between.

None of that prepared me for the dream I had the other night. 

I was in my hotel bed - fresh off a long Sunday, an all-afternoon/evening flight, and a 30-minute drive to the hotel - and I had a very, very real dream that I was invited (at my current age, life experience/position, and demeanor) to be the keynote speaker at a graduation ceremony in the Houston Astrodome (yes - I know it is no longer really used for much) for every student graduating from every school (Kindergarten through PhD) in Houston.

I looked fresh-tuh-def in my robes and floppy hat. I strode, confidently, to the podium. The crowd cheered and cheered. I was clearly a big deal and had some wisdom to drop but here is the very best part . . . I approached the hot microphone and said the following:

" . . . "

This was followed by flop sweating, cotton mouth, popping ears, and a whole lotta "ums", "ahhs", and other utterances forbidden by compelling speakers and those who coach them.

I'm sure I had something fantastic to say and if I ever sleep truly well again I might just finish the dream. If I do - I'll let you know. Class of 2015.