Monday, April 23, 2012

Unsolicited Advice. It's Graduation Season!

I asked a couple of seniors today what kind of unsolicited advice they have been getting.
I know it's only April, but it's funny how people kind of shake of their winter hibernation minds and start pouring out General Pithy Maxims to people who will graduate soon. I wonder if a switch goes off in their heads, like "It is now time to impart wisdom" and then they load up at Quotes4U or whatever and set sail on the Good Ship Inspire, relishing every opportunity to accost a high school senior and unload a favorite gem.
My boys exchanged glances first, a sure sign that they had been recently cornered.
"I know everyone is trying to be nice," I said. "But I really want to know what you think."
"'Do what you love'" said Xerxes. (Names have been changed to preserve confidentiality.)
"Yeah,"said Agamemnon."And that makes sense, and, sure, I want to do something I love, but what if what I love is, like, yodeling?"
And then we had to stop because we were laughing and we had to look up Careers for Yodelers.
Xerxes: "People keep telling me to 'do computers.'"
Me: "What do you they mean by that?"
Agamemnon: "Yeah, this guy told me his nephew does computers and he makes a lot of money so I should do computers, too."
Me:"Okay, but what about computers are you supposed to do?"
They didn't know.
We sat in silence for a few seconds.
Xerxes:"Last week a lady told me I should be a city manager. Or an ambassador."
Me:"Just like, walked up and did this pronouncement?"
Agamemnon is laughing too hard to comment.
Xerxes:(punches Agamemnon)"Yeah."
Me:"Was that helpful?"
Agamemnon:"No. It was weird. I was there."
Xerxes:"My neighbor told me to sell shoes, because shoes are a hot commodity."
This made me go into PowerSnort Laugh mode.
And we talked about shoes, and what a hot commodity they are.
And they promised me that they would keep me apprised of the treasures yet to come their way.
They have seven more weeks before graduation.
That's a lot of treasure.


  1. Personally, I hate the questions about what to do with my life. I have never been able to answer that question for myself. At least, not seriously. The future and I do not mix well.

  2. Never liked Qs about the future. Still don't.

  3. Looking forward to all that treasure.

  4. Hah! I love powersnort laugh mode and the Greek names. Your kids are the best.

  5. Shoes are a life force and a necessity. Ahem.

    But yay for your wonderfully named kids! Yodelling is a proper art form! Take care

  6. Google 'yodeling CD's'. There is a bull market in yodeling. One can imagine in 'The Graduate', the man coming up to Benjy (a young Dustin Hoffman) at the party and saying not "plastics", but "yodeling". It would have put a whole different spin on the movie.

  7. See, my actual advice, and this is advice that -no one- gave me, would be to take your time and figure it out. You don't have to know "what you're going to be when you grow up" at graduation anymore. Not that I want to give unsolicited advice, but no one ever told me anything helpful when I was graduating, and that's the one thing I do wish someone had said to me.

  8. Hello, Kristen! I remember getting this kind of super unhelpful advice, LoL. This is such a funny post. You sound like a cool teacher!

    Have a lovely week and happy A to Z!!

  9. Ha! That was a fun post. I remember getting the same kind of advice. Though when people told my husband to do computers, he went to university and learned how to do computers!

  10. On a board for writers I frequent, occasionally high school students will post, asking what they should major in if they want to write. My advice is always to major in what interests them and take any classes that sound intriguing. Get a broad background. Use college to explore, form friendships, and really learn to think things through. Those are skills that will stand them in better stead than any particular degree.


  11. Looking at these comments, I suddenly remembered a piece of advice--well, more like an admonition--from an adult who was really important to me growing up. I was ten, and I had just figured things out: I wanted to be a teacher! And so I told her, and she said, "Jessica! You're too smart to be a teacher!" And it crushed me. I told my mom, and she tried to explain in a way that would break neither my dreams nor my relationship with this woman. That what she had meant was, "You can do anything," but that it had come out all wrong. It would not be the last time that people found my career choice disappointing, but it was the last time I listened to them.