A Few Lines for the Graduates

President Obama gave the commencement address at a high school in Kalamazoo, Michigan last night.  It was a coup for the school – a prize won in competition with other eager student bodies anxious to book a graduation speaker who wouldn’t be forgotten by everyone as soon as the hats were tossed.

Being the commencement speaker has to be a mighty big challenge.   Everything about your address is already known.  Everyone knows the speech is about following your dreams.  Everyone knows you’re going to salute the folks at home.  And everyone knows that whatever you have to say is one of the last tedious lectures to endure before the students are set free.

That excited feeling in the air?  It’s not for your speech, it’s for the end of your speech.  Trust me, as soon as you start, there is a great hunger for anything that sounds like a concluding line.

Bill Clinton supposedly asked Chelsea what he should say at her high school graduation in 1997.  Her reply – “Dad, I want you to be wise, briefly.”

Good advice, but how brief is brief enough?  And how wise must one be?
Would a haiku do the job?
A haiku usually includes a seasonal reference and has just three lines.

Five syllables first.
A second line of seven.
And five to finish.

If I was giving the commencement speech at Haiku U., here’s how it would go.

When the speaker stops
Life begins for graduates.
Why delay the spring?

Thank you.

Would you have felt cheated by a commencement address haiku?
Would you like to try one?  Be my guest.

About these ads

179 thoughts on “A Few Lines for the Graduates”

  1. I would have really appreciated that-my memory of both college and high school graduation was sitting in a plasticky robe, packed in like a sardine on a sweltering day on a gym floor.

    Can’t remember the last time I tried a haiku, but here it is:

    Some have work’d and strive’d.
    Some have just gotten through it.
    Good luck to you all.

    Indulged in some baboon watching this morning at 5:15 and she was a no show. Wonder if she would come if called by name, wonder what that is.

    Also wonder how the golf game went.

    Like

    1. I don’t think the baboon is paying attention to us. She comes and goes.
      A name would be good. JASPER, alas, is taken.

      The game was fun and therapeutic. A sunny day and some good friends will dispel dark thoughts, even if you happen to be playing golf . For the uninitiated, a golfer with a bad attitude is a person in a state of emotional upheaval pretty much most of the time. Fortunately, no one in my group is like that.
      There is no money wagered, though scores are kept. Jim Ed won, as usual.

      Like

  2. Heighdy ho, music fans, and good morning!

    What’s with the baboon? He seems to come and go. In my perfect world, baboons would be more responsible. A chicken in every pot and a baboon for every trail.

    We could have a contest to name the baboon. My vote goes to “Valerie.” I don’t know why.

    Okay, I’m in a mood. And there is mood enough to help me craft a graduation haiku. Today’s haiku was inspired by the text of that deeply philosophical song, “I Did it Their Way.” As someone who toiled in academia too long time, I grin at the lines, “Where once I was oppressed, I’ve become the cruel oppressor.”

    My haiku might be popular on graduation day:

    Don’t trust your bosses
    Smile broadly and get along
    Await your revenge

    Like

    1. I’ll let your haiku stand without comment, Steve. Other than to say it is well put together.
      Valerie is an excellent name, and I say that because I count all the Valeries I know as good personal friends and admirable people.
      But I don’t know how any of them would feel about sharing a name with a digital baboon.

      Like

  3. Cliche. Platitude.
    Insert some in this space. Now.
    Then you may all leave.

    Haiku also often include a reference to nature, as well as to the season. Well, they refer to those things if you just happen to know that the cuckoo only makes that particular sound in the summer. And all those rules about syllables and lines and so on can get fiddled with, especially when the poem is translated from another language. In THAT spirit, I offer this “translated” haiku:

    Black robes grow hot in the sun.

    Like

    1. I think I know that one. Wasn’t there a longer version?

      Eyes glaze, stomachs growl
      Black robes grow hot in the sun.
      Let’s go have some lunch.

      Like

      1. Why, why…you’re RIGHT!!!
        I was clearly working with a text fragment, and not even realizing it!

        Like

  4. Good morning to all
    I have never tried to write poetry
    I will make an attempt

    This will not take long
    I will not have much to say
    Good luck and good bye

    Like

    1. Hi Dean,

      Thanks for this. I love the first and last lines, but am confused by the reference to “keepers”. For me that will always mean a series of music discs we did for the Morning Show under that title.
      Does “keepers” mean something else in the academic commencement realm?

      Like

      1. I was thinking about all the lessons that were supposed to have been learned, some of which will be worth more in the future than others. Of course many lessons are forgotten. The challenge is to pick the best lessons – the keepers – to remember.
        My memory is not very good at details, but for me one of the ‘Muskellunge’ keepers happened one winter (or summer) solstice, when the season did not want to change without the help of its crew.

        Like

  5. Life is what happens
    While you’re making other plans.
    John Lennon said that.

    Thank you.

    Like

  6. Wear your tassled hat
    Baboons blow big bubbles
    Speech gone from mem’ry

    I remember there were a bunch of folks blowing bubbles at my college graduation – more memorable than the speaker (who should have been memorable since it was August Wilson, but I was distracted). Grad school I mostly remember having to wait for the seeming millions of new lawyers to get their diplomas before I got my liberal arts degree…I think the law school has a separate ceremony now.

    Like

  7. Speaker:
    Good day, Graduates,
    Good luck and buck up, dear ones,
    The sun sets too soon.

    Response:
    Mortar boards in the air
    Black robes thrown to the ground, trampled
    Speech is over, enter Life

    Like

  8. Two kinds sit here today:
    those who will not heed advice.
    Those who don’t need it.

    VALERIE
    Valerie, sweet baboon,
    Mystery lady of the trail;
    Day or night omen?

    Like

  9. You people who experienced a graduation ceremony have an advantage over me. Nobody from my family had ever graduated from college when I came up to that moment. My parents drove down from Minnesota (to Grinnell, IA, where I was graduating) just bursting with pride. But there was a party that got a little out of hand. I was there, and though my intentions were evil I didn’t really do anything. Even so, when my parents showed up the dean of men told them he didn’t want me in town when the sun set again, so we had to slink away and I never heard the graduation address. They mailed my diploma to me.

    If I may have a second bite of the apple:

    Ignore silly rules
    Party hard young people
    Run fast don’t get caught

    Like

  10. Valerie seems fine to me. In the spirit of this blog, I think we should celebrate her independence of spirit and not hold her too accountable.

    The son and heir points out that she could well be in an entirely different time zone, I mean, where is this trail anyway?

    Nice haiku for early in the rainy morning all (or should that be haikus?).

    Like

  11. Time moves so quickly
    Try to remember all things
    That you were taught, eh?

    Haha, I believe I’ve spent too much time in da UP. One of the speakers at my high school graduation was really interesting. He was a senior who throughout high school said very little. His speech was about how he had done it as a sort of social experiment. He purposely stayed quiet and just observed those around him, listening and taking it all in. Finally listening to him talk was very interesting. His speech was well written and very well thought out. It didn’t have much of the normal graduation speech lingo in it either, which was nice, since the other speaker had it aplenty ;)
    My college speaker was Senator Carl Levin. He was interesting as well. He spoke of his experiences and challenges without being boring. During the handing out of the diplomas, there were several beach balls bouncing around the arena floor. After getting my mortarboard knocked off my head too many times, I grabbed one and deflated it. I wasn’t hit in the head again :)

    Like

  12. Competing Haiku
    One piece of advice:
    Remember you are special
    Don’t forget that ever.

    Forget about yourself.
    Do something good for the other.
    Leave each place better.

    Like

      1. Wow, Thanks.
        Did you notice yesterday that on going to Brookings Sunday and crossing the border I decided your state name is now FIREWORKS?

        Like

  13. Idealism
    Floats like a leaf in the breeze
    But you must find work.

    … My last graduation was from law school …

    Like

  14. you folks are too clever for me. i’m enjoying the haikus
    had a TA in Econ (macro or micro?) that loved haiku. he put them at the bottom of tests, study sheets, etc. nice guy. Walter Heller was the prof. i still don’t know what he looked like – we were in the west bank auditorium somewhere in a room of at least 800 students and he was a little dot down on the stage. he told good stories and could really name drop.
    never went to any graduations of my own, but attended plenty while i was teaching. that seemed like more fun – to go to someone else’s. the guy who sat in front of me brought magazines to read during the long ceremony – he hid them in his program. i passed the time sucking on Werther’s and trying not to giggle with my friend/colleague, Sue.
    it’s raining!! good morning, All

    Like

  15. I’m not even gonna try…

    Glad the golfing was fun Dale. I’ve bought a bucket of balls and just practiced hitting but that’s as far as I got with it…

    I don’t think you can say anything to a graduation class that they will remember… my advice would be make it funny; at least keep them entertained that way. Start with a joke, laugh at yourself– or the teachers / deans, yeah, I suppose you have to put some sort of message in there…
    Just had a conversation with my son and wife regarding an interim pastor; Kelly said he talked too long, Preston said 25 minutes wasn’t too long… I drift off after about 5 minutes… counting the holes in the ceiling tiles… but I have that problem at sporting events too; trying to watch my son and — oh look; a bird! WHAT? Who scored?? Watch the game, watch the– Oh look; a red car! SCORE!

    … what was the question? I think it’s 8:33…….

    Like

  16. Now I am smarter
    Congratulations to me
    Now what should I do?

    I remember my high school and college graduations as rather boring. At my oldest son’s high school graduation, one of the valedictorians gave a wonderful speech. She’s a highly accomplished young woman going into theater I believe. The theme of her speech was “up, up and away” from the movie “Toy Story.” She was fun and interesting to watch, as well as generally a well written speech. Very impressive.

    Like

  17. I don’t have a creative mind and can barely count, but here goes.
    Congratulations!
    Work honest, take leisure time.
    Spring and you are sprung.

    Like

  18. Wow, you guys are way to creative so early in the morning.

    That would be another great job for Dale. He could turn those dire medical warnings into poetry. Something Suessical maybe

    May cause itching in your sox
    Or cause your skin to burst with pox

    Like

  19. Morning all…. enjoying the haikus (haiki?) this morning. Not feeling even a little bit creative so I will hijack my favorite haiku. By Ezra Pound.

    Fan-Piece, for Her Imperial Lord
    O fan of white silk,
    clear as frost on the grass-blade,
    You also are laid aside.

    Like

  20. I have made many speeches in many environments for many purposes in about 36 states. But I have steadfastly refused to Commence students.

    Like

  21. I like DanT’s idea of Seussical rhymes for medical warnings — a very good one, too. Here’s my lame attempt:

    Now I lay me down to sleep
    Ambrin or Lunesta my dreams to keep,
    If this medicine you do take
    Tired and grumpy you are when you wake.

    Do not drive or heavy machinery operate
    When under influence of such an opiate.
    You’re better off with herbs of balm
    To keep your sleeping mind peaceful and calm.

    Like

  22. I love it, Joanne. Do you mean Ambien, which is what I take, only drug I am allowed on right now. I love how a sleep drug comes with the warning that it will make you drowsy.
    My wife’s 21 prescriptions come with conflicting warnings.

    Like

  23. Oops, yes Clyde. I don’t know much about pharmaceuticals. When I have trouble sleeping, I take melatonin which is the natural form of what your body makes to help you sleep. There are also several herbs, L-theanine, GABA and other things that are very effective without the side effects. Just FYI …

    When I first started karate, I’d come home from class all excited and hyped up and I couldn’t sleep for the first couple months. Especially after sparring — I’d lay awake and think of all the mistakes I made and how I would have avoided getting so many hits. Now I sleep fine after karate. But menopause and financial pressures are keeping me awake again.

    Like

    1. I was waiting for this post, Joanne. I tried several herbals in the past; worked for awhile 20 years ago. But I need Ambien to overcome the pain or I cannot sleep. Ambien has no side effects on me. For instance I do not wake up grouchy. Wake up quite “up” actually. Very few drugs work on me or they cause all of the side-effects and none of the effects.
      This is partly in answer to a question tim asked yesterday, hoping he shows up today: I went to a wedding Sat. night after being off pain-killers for three days. The reception was amazing to sit through off of pain-killers while in a bad flair-up. My body turns lights, touch, chemicals/odors and sounds into pain, especially bright or loud events. Try explaining to people you do not want to shake their hand at a wedding. But when I did shake hands, I would jump, as I do from sudden lights or sounds. A camera flash in a dark room or a sudden loud sound are like a bolt of lightening through my brain; that’s not just a metaphor–it seems like that in my head. I could track sharp pains and waves of pain in various places in my body coming after sensory stimuli. I do that on pain-killers too but it was amazing to experience fully off of them. And being in a restricted space sends my brain into overload. You probably think I am nuts, as clearly did many people there.
      I am all for herbals and yoga and other alternative medicines, but my wife would not be alive without a few of her 21 prescriptions and I need some drugs not to live in hell.

      Like

      1. I understand, Clyde. When it comes to pain, very few things in the natural realm (that are legal) can come even close to pharmaceutical pain relief. I’m really not against pharmaceuticals — just over-prescribed, highly marketed and obscenely profitable ones. There’s a need for balance and room for both sides of the natural vs pharma equation in health care. Unfortunately, it’s very polarized right now.

        It’s very interesting to hear you describe your experience of sights, smells, sounds and touch. Some autistic people also have great difficulty with sensory overload. My son has it to a small degree — he will kind of “shut down” when it happens to him — very rarely now that he’s almost 13.

        Like

      2. Shut down is what I do too, which makes me socially weird too. Never thought about autism and fibromyalgia together, and I should have since I have done some work in autism spectrum education.

        Like

      3. clyde, the process does not sound like an enjoyable one but i hope it produces enjoyable results. branson ho…

        Like

  24. Ah, the most memorable graduation I have is when my first class of kindergartners had their little ceremony: no caps and gowns, but everyone in Sunday best, parents in the bleachers… Each class performed one of the little folk dances they had been taught by Mrs. Lilly, an ancient but enthusiastic volunteer who taught them this one:

    Jump, jump, jump Jim Jo/Take a little turn and away you go/
    Slide, slide, point your toe/Take a little turn and bow just so.

    It was pretty cute, and got a thundering applause… If all graduates did something like this, you might not need a speaker… :)

    Like

  25. don’t remember anything about high school graduation, it was 1966 and too far away
    didnt go to college one, i was at the U, too big, summer school finish
    i don’t like the name Valerie cuz that’s the name of the woman who sent the letter about Dale and i will forever associate her name with his dismissal

    Like

    1. Calling our “mascot” Valerie is OK, as long as everybody understands that the Valerie who signed the note about staff changes to Radio Heartland was and is a strong supporter of both The Morning Show and RH. And she’s a very good friend of mine. Although it was her job to send out a disappointing e-mail, she is only the messenger.
      I asked her if we could use her name for the baboon and she said “That is funny.”
      I think that means it’s all right.

      Like

      1. So, who was the decision maker in the axing of DC show on RH? I would like to make sure my letter is addressed to the correct person.

        Like

      2. According to Wikipedia, the name Valerie denotes strength, health or boldness. Those are attributes that seem to apply to our mascot (strength and health at least – she doesn’t look all that bold when she’s peeking out from behind the tree), and hopefully to this TB2 community as well. I like the name Valerie as long as the intent is not mean-spirited. And of course, her nickname can still be Babs.

        Like

      3. The former social worker in me worries that it feels a bit mean-spirited (and I’m an “F” on the Myers-Briggs, for those of you who know those preferences), but if Valerie really meant what she said about it being ok, then I’ll leave the decision to others. Valerie and I e-mailed about various member stuff in the past few years and she always responded right away and thoughtfully, including to my e-mail last week. She definitely was put in a most difficult position as messenger.

        Happy rainy day, everyone.

        Like

      4. I should add that this is Cynthia in Minneapolis who posted above. Not the other Cynthia who lives in a more exotic sounding place.

        Like

  26. Yeah, it is kind of mean. So let’s go way way back. Somewhere in about year 8 or so of MPR, when you pledged you got to name your favorite piece of classical music; then at the end of the drive they played the top 40 in order. I think it about number 2 on the list was “Help me, Rhonda” because Garrison played it all the time in the morning. (One of my classical music snob friends was so upset over it and I bet many others were.)
    So, how about Rhonda for that sweet coy little thing hiding in the bushes?

    Like

  27. When did she show up? I’ve been following comments on my email, so just now noticed she was back.

    Don’t know if this works for you, Clyde, but when the sharing of the peace happens at church, the handshaking can be avoided by instead placing your hands together and smiling warmly (if you are me, you think of this as a namaste gesture, or a salaam). People assume you are contageous (are you sure there is spellcheck on here?).

    Can’t help you with the exploding brain part. That sounds horrid.

    Like

    1. It’s really awkward in the sharing of the peace not to shake hands but I often do so. I study the church and decide where to sit avoiding especially all of the hemen with the iron grips. And I avoid old ladies who tend to like lots of scents, but so many people wear scents.

      Like

  28. Each day is a game of “where’s the baboon” in the top picture. I’m just waiting for a couple goats to show up and start nibbling on the greens or jumping into the trees. I remember the kids magazines I subscribed to for my children — they loved the back cover with the picture and you had to find all the objects hidden in the drawing. Good fun!

    Catherine – it’s spelled “contagious”. I’m the spell-checker here, but I just keep it to myself. This system will underline the offending word (usually), so you have to look and make correction yourself.

    And, yes — naming the baboon “Valerie” is a bit mean. Ms. Arganbright was doing her job to write the letter — I’m sure it wasn’t her idea to dismiss Dale.

    Like

    1. Thank you Joanne! The irony is that I am one of the “office spellers” and am usually pretty good at it. I’ve also seen the unlining to let me know I have erred, but it wasn’t showing up this time, no matter how I spelled it-guess each server is different.

      I’m trying to get over a perfectionist streak, so sometimes just let spelling go if I can’t get it (but I still know I am sinning, so it is ok, as Weston Noble used to say-for all you Luther grads).

      I think Valerie is ok for the baboon, as long as it is done commemoratively (she who brought us to this trail), as opposed to in a mean-spirited way.

      Thanks for filling us in, Dale.

      Like

      1. Just saw Weston Noble’s name in there. How many stories could be told about him! My daughter’s graduation in the football field at Luther was about as bad a graduation as I have ever seen. Alan Page droned on forever.

        Like

  29. Tomorrow we will have a Name The Baboon element in the blog.
    So get your nominees in today.
    So far we’ve got Valerie and Rhonda on the list. Any others?
    The gender of the baboon is unimportant to me, so don’t limit yourself.
    I’ll narrow the field to five finalists and assemble the polling machinery.

    Like

    1. Bruneau the baboon. Bruneau is a type of jaspar… a subset, so to speak… or perhaps an offshoot. Bruneau the baboon seems fitting.

      Like

    2. I have to say, I do love some of the features on this new blog-the replying (but for our own safety, maybe there should be an auto-cut-off?) and the polling thing is just toooooo much fun.

      Can’t wait to see what else turns up-and where did that baboon go?

      Like

      1. I didn’t mean to claim credit for “Babs” – I was referencing Donna’s earlier post.

        Like

    3. I sort of like Sherrilee’s suggestion of Tabitha the Trail Baboon. I don’t have any negative connotations when I think of baboons – all those primates seem amazing.

      I suppose Mike Pengra wouldn’t want to be the mascot of this blog, but it would be nice to have him be able to be more visible as a friendly baboon face looking in on us and joining the conversation when he can (I keep wanting to knock on my HD radio at home and say, “Mike, Mike, are you in there?”)

      Like

  30. I agree with Dale about Valerie…she was just the messenger…she also has a great sense of humor…I believe there is a traveling version of a Valerie doll…she’d look great along side the Trail Baboon…trailing him/her perhaps.

    Like

  31. I’ve listened to RH streaming for nearly a year, and like many here, I am still trying to come to terms with my loss. I have never posted to TB or the new TB, but the haiku got me thinking creatively, which, since Dale’s departure, I have not been so much. So, though not a gifted haikuist, I felt I needed to add my 17 syllables to the mix (mind you, I am in a different time zone, so this is way after all of you have been busy creating):

    You’ve made it this far
    Your final exam is life
    Congratulations!

    Like

      1. yep, Bend as in Oregon. I work from home, so RH has been my companion for quite sometime, now. However, I would hear the repeat Dale Connelly Show (Pacific Time!), and by then TB was full of creative, stimulating conversation for me to peruse.

        Like

    1. I love Bend, Julie, been through there a coupla times. Do you know Tudor McCook? (a former colleague of mine now in Bend…) :)

      Like

    2. Welcome, Julie! I love Oregon – have family in Portland and I long to get back there again soon. You can be in our TB satellite office, if Dale oks that.

      Like

  32. Mike Pengra said in the blog that Dale’s show would still be available in the Archives. I accessed it one day, but now I can’t find it –not even in the RH archives. Anybody know anything about this?

    Like

    1. Someone mentioned late in yesterday’s blog that if you do a search on the MPR site, you should come up with the RH archives.

      Like

  33. My commencement speaker was Hubert H. Humphrey. I have no recolleciton of exactly what he said, but I do remember that he most decidedly did not recite a Haiku. I could be wrong on that count. It might have been thousands of consecutive Haiku’s.

    Where the heck is Dale?
    Storm clouds gather in my mind.
    MPR blew it.

    Like

    1. Good one, John. Oh man, I’m timming it today — this reply button is way too addicting. I gotta cut back …

      Like

  34. I don’t remember a lot of graduation speeches, and I have heard lots, but last year Joe Dowling, Artistic Director at the Guthrie Theater, gave the commencement speech at St. Thomas. He talked about the importance of art in the world. I loved it. All those school districts that cut art, music and theater from their programs should have heard it. I was very happy that all those business majors also heard it. At the high school my husband teaches at the seniors vote on which of their classmates should give the commencement address. They tend to be much more interesting to listen to then having the valedictorian speak.

    Like

  35. I’m spending way too much time on blog today. Some ideas for Baboon names — as baboons originate in Africa or Asia, I found African names I thought sounded nice or have some alliteration going for them.

    Bakari – means “promising”
    Bomani – means “strong soldier”
    Baruti – means “teacher”
    Jamille or Jameelah – means” beautiful”
    Dakarai – means “happiness”

    Those baby name sites are fascinating …

    Like

    1. We are all hurting now, but we should pick name based on where we want to go and who we want to be.

      I like Dakarai – It sounds like we are off exploring in some exotic new land, which in fact we are! Or maybe I am thinking Dakari

      Valderi – From the Happy wander song (Bill Staines version of course)

      Below I took some names from favorite songs. Initially I listed where I got the name, but I bet it would be more fun if you guess!

      Mrs Brown – we could have another contest for her first name!

      Fruvus

      Uncle Walter

      Petite Tuber – (say it with a Jacque Panache accent)

      I’ll have to see if I can come up with some tougher ones to guess.

      Like

  36. Since I was the one who suggested “Valerie” for the baboon (in what Dale makes clear was misplaced anger), maybe I have the right to withdraw that name from consideration. “Rhonda” is cool because it symbolizes the classical/popular musical split in MPR. We could honor a Minnesota politician by calling the baboon “Michelle.” You only get one guess on the last name. If we agree that the baboon is a friendly spirit, the name “Jim Ed” might be fit. If we think the baboon is a good pal who remembers Radio Heartland fondly, there are worse names than “Mike.” If the baboon comes and goes at unpredictable intervals, there is some logic in “Waldo” (as in where the heck IS he?).

    Like

    1. It would be an insult to baboons to name one after Michelle B …

      Oops, that’s rather mean, isn’t it? Just my opinion …

      Like

  37. I wanted to mention the only good graduation I’ve attended. The speech was totally upstaged by something that happened in that procession to get the diploma. The ceremony was held in Northrup, so students had to march a long distance across the stage to claim their diplomas. In this class was a thin little nebbish who was a serious student of silent film comedians (Keaton, Chaplin, etc).

    As this kid started his march, his mortar board suddenly flipped skyward and landed on the front of his head, tipped down over his eyes. Seconds later the mortar board kicked up in the air again and fell at a drunken angle to one side. The kid himself walked with a benign smile and a steady head, but his mortar board was dancing all over his head like a living thing, jumping and landing at an angle maybe once every other second. The whole place was laughing riotously by the time he got the diploma. I don’t know how he did it, but suspect he might have practiced for weeks if not months. I don’t remember who spoke or what he/she said.

    Like

    1. I too graduated at Northrop, Owen Wangenstein was speaker. No idea what he said. I only remember this because I worked at the hospital, where he was god. (He is mentioned in MASH on TV –“Let’s fix up a good old-fashioned Wangenstein,” says Col. Potter and then explains.) I was required to attend, as no doubt were you. I had to come back from teaching for two days and attend (end of SSII). In the practice the “director of students something or other” told us we were all to stupid to manage this so they had secretaries who would lead us around by colleges. We were to follow the person in front no matter what and the person behind the secretary must follow her of course. He repeated this a few times. At the graduation the person leading our group–college of ed–took a wrong turn and without a beat everyone joyously followed. We had to go back up an aisle, through the lobby and down the right aisle, but she got the wrong one. But at the pit we could just turn and follow. We got an ovation from the several thousand other student/prisoners.
      I had forgotten this until you mentioned Northrop.

      Like

      1. My son graduated from HS Sunday at Northrup Auditorium. Steve us right…students have a long walk to get their diplomas. R.T. Rybak gave the commencement address, and I must admit, it was a good one. He encouraged the students to clear their heads and imagine what their gift to the world is, and how they could realize that gift without anything in the way to stop them. I was an emotional wreck.

        Like

      2. Mike – who would have thought you were such a soft-hearted guy. I, too graduated from U of MN at Northrup — that place is huge.

        Like

  38. Oh, you should have never mentioned the baby name books. You can spend along time exploring. Here are some suggestions:
    Boudewijn – German – Bold, Brave friend
    Yafeau – African – Bold
    Bahadur – Persian or Areli – Hebrew both of which mean bold/courageous.
    I think this a bold new, courageous venture.

    Like

  39. I personally don’t want this new area of endeavor for Dale to be launched on a negative note; the long time fans of Dale’s work know the back story for this blog, but the ‘newbies’ don’t, and neither will they care. They will simply be glad to be a part of a great new blog with interesting and clever commentary and questions by Dale, and delightfully erudite entries (alliteration anyone?) by those who participate in the fun. I hope the baboon who visits will be given a name that makes us smile every time we see it. I submit ‘Blevins’, from the song’Old Belvins’ by the Austin Lounge Lizards.

    Like

    1. That’s the best one I’ve seen suggested yet – and will definitely make me smile when I see it.

      Like

      1. Haha, that’s great! Blevins the Baboon :)

        I apologize for my crack earlier. That’s one of my greatest faults, “speaking” without thinking. I do it often, and regret it after.

        Like

      2. I also like “Blevins” — especially as it has “blah, blah, blah…” which seems to fit with a blog where words and memories flow.

        BTW, if you are a friend of Mike’s on Facebook you can see photos of his son’s graduation. Cool.

        Like

    2. Well put, Teri, and a good suggestion.

      I’ve always loved that song.

      Mike, does Jasper have any memory of the Austin Lounge Lizards and their ilk? Not requesting, just wondering.

      Like

  40. Tomorrow I am going to make my case again for Rhonda–a sentimental favorite as I explained above. But Blevins is right in there too. However I think the animal is female. Mike would have a nice place over here if we named her Mike, but it would be confusing. As I have told on here before, my father once gave a dog my wife’s name and we got into some funny and distracting moments trying to decide which Sandy people meant. I have been to a few zoos where a large primate had a certain male first name I am not going to say.

    Like

    1. Oh, Northrup has a ring to it. Congrats Mike! From what HS?
      I am so lucky on rain. I so seldom ride in rain. Rode in this morning ahead of a set of small showers. Now a large storm cleared awhile ago so I will be dry going home. I do, however, like riding in a light rain. For medical reasons my biking may be done soon. That is going to be another huge hole ion my life. Self-pity, I know, so I think I will listen to Greg Brown on the way home. How about Salmon for supper. Some pasta might go well with it, don’t you think.

      Like

      1. I’ m allergic to asparagus, but my wife would like it. And someone delete this post of mine. DonnadeTuna would be all right. Tuna is always all right.
        Rode home by a boy, about 8, in rubber boots–English would say Wellies–playing in a pool of water at a dammed up drain. As I rode by he looked up at me with a smile of pure pleasure. Someone make an haiku out of it.

        Like

  41. Well, thanks to all you kind, witty and interesting folks, I’ve been entertained the entire day while going back and forth from computer … and not getting a SINGLE THING accomplished!

    And where’s Renee? Maybe she can explain this desire to converse, write mediocre (at best) haiku or poems, respond to comments, explore baboon names, look for the baboon in picture and note its presence or absence, and generally can’t wait to see what else people are saying.

    If you refresh your page, I see a different format now — numbered comments and they take less room — good change. Thanks for the fun, but I really need to go now. Plus I have karate/sparring tonight.

    Like

      1. Oh right — didn’t realize it was so soon. Nobody really wants to be psychoanalyzed on a blog, anyway.

        Like

  42. child of the planet
    you captain your own ship
    enjoy the ride dude

    how far you come
    now party until you puke
    do good work and die

    busy day
    i will check back later

    Like

  43. Help me out here-if I set up on WordPress, is my username what you will see when I post? I also take it I need to do this if I want to have an icon (although I do kind of like the quilt blocks they assign)?

    re: Blevins-I’m particularly fond of “those crazy hippies” paired with “no effect on me”

    Like

    1. Your username can be anything – it doesn’t appear in your posts, it’s just what you log in with. It appears you don’t even need to log in after that – you are recognized by your e-mail address when you post, although that doesn’t actually appear either.

      Like

  44. Clyde, your haiku request does not allow for a direct reply – apparently the reply feature only goes in three levels. I offer this:

    Unexpected pool
    Pleases boy in rubber boots.
    He looks up and smiles.

    Like

  45. Or maybe this version is better –

    Boy in rubber boots
    Finds serendipitous pool.
    He looks up and smiles.

    I could never write for publication; I can’t decide when it is time to stop revising. I might add that it is really, really hard to work the word “serendipitous” into a haiku. It uses up your syllable budget so fast.

    Like

  46. i have a gift. i am able to discover the names of animals and insects. they spesak to me. whne my children were small they would freak when the boxelder bugs came in. i am certain it was because thei mother freaked when she saw them. i explained that boxelders bugs are totally harmless, do no damage and eat dust particles for food. this did nothing to ease their discomfort. then the bugs started telling me their names and i would tell the kids. having names, all concern vanished.it works with wasps, mice, june bugs, its incredible. mort told me that dale was wrong and he is not a female baboon. mort says you can call him whatever you want. he likes the blog and it won’t bother him at all.

    Like

    1. Unless that monkey bends over we can never be sure of its sex so let’s show our sensitivity and give it a name that works for either. I like Boo. Boo can be used as a term of endearment- I have a niece in college who we’ve called Boo since she was a toddler. It can be an interjection – can’t you just imagine our baboon hollering “Boo!” at us every time it jumps out from behind a tree? And also, very importantly, Boo was the nickname for the obscure character, Arthur Radley, in To Kill a Mockingbird.

      Wow, it’s late kids! I’m too tired for cards tonight. BTW Tim, how have you acquired such confidence as a poker player?

      Like

      1. you can get more obscure than to kill a mocking bird.
        bonus points…..
        who played boo in the movie and what was special about it?

        Like

  47. Tim, that is such a sweet idea — I can definitely see you communing with the animals and insects. Very cool.

    Just got back from sparring — tired, sweaty and sore. A challenging night — just me and 4 tall guys. There’s usually more women there, but not tonight — and I’m not used to sparring that many guys taller than me. Had to be more aggressive, which is tiring and makes me more vulnerable to injuries (I think), but if my instructor pushes me, I get intense and do it so I can be better. My shower awaits …

    Like

    1. Joanne, there may be haiku in that…working up to “my shower awaits”…(glad it’s you doing the sparring, not me – and more power to you for it.)

      Like

      1. Punch, duck, kick and spin.
        Warrior victorious,
        My shower awaits.

        Best I can do just before bed. ‘night all …

        Like

      1. Tim – I am 5’10” and the guys were all 5’11” or over. One is big, solid and at least 6’2″. Most of the guys in our dojo are not big men — except a couple of new ones. And newbies to sparring (especially guys) have not learned how to control their hits, so sometimes you can get a real wallop. You get used to it, but at my age I like to avoid it. My instructor is an amazing sparrer and he’s only 5’4″ (maybe).

        My son is 15, a black belt and is excellent at sparring, but I can spar him safely all night because he has very good control. But I can’t land any hits on him because he’s quick as a cobra.

        Like

  48. Some blather to clear my head before bed:

    I am supremely unimaginative when it comes to names*, so now that we are naming the baboon instead of the blog I feel (almost) clever enough to participate.

    “Valerie” is great – I had not thought of the trail baboon as female before I saw that name. Pretty certain now that the baboon is a she; I can picture a pink polka dot bow on her head.

    I submit “Savannah” – hopefully it is not too obvious.

    [* After much prompting, I named my pet shrimp The Red One, The Orange One, The Pink One and The Brown One. After a spell of darkness, they all turned red -- at which point I gave up.]

    Like

    1. i had a friend with a fish tank of goldfish. he named the first one bruce, he named the second one bruce and the third one also.
      it made it easier

      Like

  49. I miss Dale! Nothing seems right without having RH in the day. I’ve listened to the news in place of the show and now feel like a very dark lutheran. A person can only take so much of the war, the oil spill, Pawlenty and Bachman then the war, the oil spill again.

    Thundering trains come
    unfaithful voice distorted
    air no longer good

    bah humbug!

    (i really like the Blevins idea)

    Like

  50. Man! It is exhausting trying to keep up with this group! ;-)

    (Note to self: don’t check the ‘…follow up comments via email’ box tomorrow; it’s burying my mailbox!)

    Like

    1. i asked how you do that the other day , then i saw there are 131 comments and i can not deal with that level of eforwarding.

      Like

  51. Mike writing about graduation at Northrop reminded me of my own graduation from the College of Liberal Arts at the U of M. It was in the old Williams Arena, and the main thing I recall was the total lack of air conditioning on a blistering June afternoon. Speeches? I imagine there were a few. It’s a shame I did not think to employ Steve’s strategy.

    My graduate school commencement speech, on the other hand, was delivered by Sir Peter Ustinov. It was utterly brilliant and delightful. He began by observing that he heard a baby crying in the back of the hall, which reminded him of hearing reed players in the orchestra warming up. And when he heard that sound (which he then imitated), he knew something really exciting would soon follow!

    Final thought for the night – I propose the name Mary Ellen for the Baboon.

    Like

Comments are closed.