Don’t Forget the Pass Before the Touchdown

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Don’t Forget the Pass Before the Touchdown

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Dear Class of 2019,

Thank you for this invitation to share some parting thoughts with you. I’ve written a few of these over the last twenty-plus years. You’d think it would get easier; it doesn’t. I guess I have only a limited number of original thoughts to share. Fortunately, I found some inspiration at the “Powder-Puff” football game, of all places.

First, Lamya caught a pass! Then scored a touchdown. A rather obvious–therefore easily overlooked but still important-element of that observation, is the sequence. She caught the pass, then she scored the touchdown. I mention this because I had a little fun last year teasing Lamya for practicing her touchdown dance in the hallway rather than practicing catching the ball. Predictably, Lamya never got the chance to do her dance. (Sorry for the cheesy rhyme, but it was right there. What could I do?) Goals are important but so is preparation. So pursue those diplomas and certifications, licenses—and end zones, but remember that learning and achieving requires practice, requires careful reading, and thinking, and writing, and then more thinking. All that stuff on the way to your goals—that’s your life. Don’t forget to live it. So, congratulations Lamya—for the catch—the touchdown was far less dramatic as there was little doubt but that you would get to the end zone having caught the ball.

It occurs to me now that if I don’t also mention that Ky scored a touchdown, she’ll never forgive me. So, Ky also scored a touchdown. Juniors, if you’re reading this, I’ll root for you next year. In the meantime, I’d blame your coaches.

One last observation from the game. I was watching it with a former student who graduated twelve years ago. She just had a baby and is moving to Japan, so she wanted me to meet her kid, then say goodbye. The point is, keep in touch—with us and with each other. Friendship takes work. If you’re not careful, old friends will become forgotten acquaintances. Friends are part of the process of your life; don’t neglect them in pursuit of goals.

Thanks again for the invitation. I truly enjoyed being your teacher, and I wish you all the best! Be well; be good (if you’ve been paying attention you know they’re not the same).

Peace and God bless,

Mr. Rowan