Tomorrow I have to present a young graduate at our school’s ceremony. He’s a good friend, and we bonded immediately when he enrolled, primarily, at first, because of his against-the-rules references to pop culture. We run a pretty tight ship out there, and the language should be clean and free from references to drugs, violence, and sex.  So, that eliminates most great music, books, and movies of the twentieth century. So this student would sneak them into conversation and then give me a little look, like, do you know what I’m talking about? a little dimple-twinkle all while trying to look cherubic and naive. Very endearing. I caught most of them, I think, and maybe that’s why we became friends.  Anyhow, I’m going to read this poem when I present him tomorrow, and it is made up entirely of the pop culture references I remember talking to him about over the last year and a half. Oh, and I might throw in some stuff from class too, King Lear and what not. It might not make much sense, but I’m going to try to touch on the themes of dreams, and responsibility, and confidence, using lines from films like Pulp Fiction and 90s pop-punk lyrics. Oh, and a line or two he doesn’t know, just so he’ll have to go look things up.

Graduation Poem for ALB

Now that you are leaving us, think about the times you’ve spent, and what they’ve meant. Maybe you’ve learned that sometimes you need to apologize. Sometimes you need to admit you ain’t right, or only say hello. And don’t overestimate the power of forgiveness. Maybe you’ve learned to choose life. Choose your future. Why would you want to do a thing like that? Who needs reasons when you’ve got… character. And just because you are a character doesn’t mean that you have character, just like knowing a lot about Sean Connery is hardly a substitute for…confidence. So when you get to LC, don’t look nobody directly in the eye, but don’t look away either. They’re gonna be scared of you, so don’t worry ’bout nothin’.  You bad gettin badder, colder gettin colder and you don’t need proof when you have instinct. You are tough and able, quite indefatigable, though obviously you’re not a golfer. If they move your stapler burn the building down.

As you are aware, this is your life and it is ending a minute at a time. Must’ve been the same thing Charlie Brown went through. Any man brave enough to fight with his guts strapped to his chest can drink from my canteen any day, but keep in mind that “A man who trusts everyone is a fool and a man who trusts no one is a fool. We are all fools if we live long enough.” Learn to never ignore coincidence. Unless, of course, you’re busy. In which case, always ignore coincidence.

An ache in your soul is everybody’s goal, to get what they can’t have. When you feel like what’s the use of trying, buck up, never say die. We’ll get along. For this gift I feel blessed, Our little group has always been, And always will until the end.

When your self respect is at its lowest ebb, Speak less than thou knowest, and tell ’em you’ve got those St. James infirmary blues. Remember that the road to hell is paved with unbought stuffed dogs, and never, ever, be daunted. At least not in public. Recall, commodore, that irresponsibility is something which, in the very nature of things, cannot co-exist with independence.

When the rain is fallin’ in your face, please call. We will tell you that fun is good, truth is better, and love is best of all.


I could continue in this vein all night. I managed to squeeze in the godfather, office space, the big lebowski, green day, weezer, arctic monkeys, the sun also rises, hornblower, dylan, thackeray, barenaked ladies, king lear, cab calloway, reservoir dogs, pulp fiction, trainspotting, and maybe a few others. It’s late and I should’ve started this weeks ago, but that’s okay. I think alb will get a kick out of it. Happy Friday!