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Some last thoughts forseniors
All that advice at high school graduation ceremonies is fine. But who really remembers it? Here's a review of the basics

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Date published: 5/19/2004


IWOULD LIKE to say that the words of wisdom I heard at my high school graduation made me a better person.

I would like to say that the message conveyed during that solemn occasion is something I've never forgotten.

I'd like to say that. But I can't.

You see, I don't remember the message--or even the speaker. I do remember that television journalist Bill Moyers spoke at my college graduation. I'm sure he said something wise and profound.

But I don't remember much about that ceremony, either. I recall family members who were present. And I remember partying with roommates and friends the night before.

But Moyers' message?

It must be stored in my mind's attic behind boxes labeled "The Periodic Table," "Calculus" and "Photosynthesis." And, at my age, I'm not sure I even have a key to that attic anymore.

But I'll bet my diploma I'm not alone when it comes to forgetting commencement addresses. High school graduation remains one of life's experiences that happens in fast forward. Always has; always will.

So today, I'm offering some words of wisdom of my own to the seniors at Stafford County's four high schools. The rest of this column is required reading for members of the Class of 2004. (Yes, this material will be on the final exam.) And with more than three weeks remaining before graduation, there can be no excuses for not completing this assignment.

OK, seniors, listen up, here are some nuggets of advice to stick in your pockets before you head off to the beach:

Cherish the friendships you have made in high school. The experiences you have shared with classmates are very special and will become even more treasured as you get older.

E-mail makes it easy to keep in touch these days. And as the years pass, take advantage of special occasions like weddings and reunions to swap stories and share baby pictures.

Use this occasion to say "Thank you" to your parents and all the key members of your support team. Sure, you did all the reading and took the SOLs by yourself. But family and friends made the academic route much easier for you to travel.

And whether you are going away to college or entering the working world, call home frequently--not just when you need money.

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