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By Susan Dromey Heeter, Joyful Musings
In this season of graduations, I muse joyfully that I will be called to give a commencement speech. I know it may be short notice, but I’m still available and can be ready at a moment’s notice. Below is a preview of my speech that could work well for any graduation: kindergarten, high school, college, graduate school – works everywhere.
Welcome Graduates, Distinguished Guests, Mothers who only moments ago were yelling, “What do you mean you can’t find your shoes?”
It’s an honor to have been asked to speak and to be here in front of you. Truly. Just a few minutes ago I was flipping through my NETFLIX feed wondering how programs like Ripper Street are “suggested for you.” Yes, I am a fan of Call the Midwife, but how does Jack the Ripper get in there?
Alas, I digress. It’s about you. The work you’ve done, the lengths you’ve gone to celebrate this moment, this today, this hour. I applaud you. And I invite you to remember to do the following to insure a happy, productive life:
#1. Write thank you notes. Texting a thank you does not count. Write it. Put a stamp on the envelope. Take the time to thank your parents, your teachers, your bus drivers, your principal, your benefactors for supporting your endeavor of education. Thank your grandparents. Thank anyone who has shown up for you. Truly. It’s a life skill to not only celebrate gratitude but to create a hard copy of it.
#2. Look up. Stop looking down at your phone. There’s a lot going on around you and while you’re updating your Snapchat or Facebook or Instagram, you’re missing a lot of real, not virtual life.
Just yesterday I was filling up my car when a guy dressed in a Burger King uniform stomped over to what I believe was his girlfriend’s car. He yelled, “I just quit my EFFIN JOB” and then kicked the Toyota so three dents appeared within moments. He got into the car and attempted to kick the windshield out but to no avail. He grabbed his girlfriend’s money, (I heard her say, “That’s my money!” ) got out of the car and raged down the street while still sporting his Burger King visor. Police were not involved – yet, and while I witnessed an unfortunate interaction, I also witnessed a slice of life on a warm Friday afternoon – live. Up close and personal. I am wondering if he’ll return his Burger King uniform.
So, look up. You never know what you’re going to see.
#3. Vote. It’s one of the best four letter words out there. Use this one as often as you use those others.
#4. Finally, keep it brief. Stop talking so much. I, myself, have been accused of being a Chattasourus Rex, of someone who can talk the bark off a tree. So, I’m keeping this speech brief as I have been that person in the audience who has almost yelled, “SHUUUUUUUUT UPPPPP!” when someone has gone on too long. Mercifully, that has not happened yet, ideally it will not happen today with one of you.
Godspeed. Enjoy the journey. Write thank yous, look up, vote and keek it brief.
Joyful Musers, feel free to call – I look fabuous in a mortar board.
Susan Dromey Heeter, a writer from Dover who recently let her hair go au natural white, debuts her new column “Joyful Musings” at InDepthNH.org. Dromey Heeter is a secondary Spanish Teacher at Dover High School and the mother of two teenage daughters. Writing has been her passion since her English majoring days at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. Dromey Heeter has lived in The Netherlands, Alaska and currently basks in all things New England, including the frigid winters. An avid swimmer, Dromey Heeter’s great passion is to bring back body surfing as most children have no idea how to ride waves without ridiculous boogie boards. She also writes about thrift shopping and all things frugal in a column called “Budget Vogue” for the New Hampshire Union Leader.