Showing posts from June, 2016

Commencement 2016

For the last two years, my seniors have ended their year by delivering ten-minute commencement speeches. They are the most remarkable part of my year. Here is the speech I gave to them.
I was looking at a poster in my son’s room last night, and thinking of how many superheroes wear capes.  Tomorrow when you walk around that track, taking your final steps as high school students, you will also be wearing capes.  

Okay they are robes, but they are a lot like capes and I like the symbolism.  You are headed out into an imperfect world and you must fight injustice.  Billionaire or not, you must act like Bruce Wayne.  Like The Batman, you don’t possess any real superpowers, just your own determination, intellect, and maybe some cool gadgets.  My goodness you all carry the equivalent of the batphone in your pockets.  As you soak up all the pomp and circumstance of that event, don’t forget about the capes you are wearing.  

My time with you as students is now down to a matter of minutes.  I ho…


To entice my first son to move from his crib to his new “big-boy” bed, we told him we would paint it any color he wanted.  He did not hesitate for a single second: PINK!

He said this with a huge grin, and the unbridled enthusiasm of a little kid being given the freedom to make a decision all his own.  Pink was his favorite color, and I had made a habit of challenging anyone who raised an eyebrow.  “What do you think this is,” I would ask with varying levels of indignation, “the 1950s?  It is a color.  He likes the way it looks.”  It was shocking the number of people who felt they needed to weigh in on this.  Friends and family members alike, people I believed to be intelligent and open-minded, rolled their eyes and made jokes.  Pink is a girl’s color.  Pink is a gay color.  Archaic, ignorant, outdated nonsense.  

So, there my son was bouncing with excitement at the new color of his bed.  “Any color other than pink,” I said immediately.  I did not debate this answer.  My better self - a …