It's that time of year again ... when college graduates put on those awkward gowns and head off to commencement, where they sit in the sweltering sun or a stuffy stadium, waiting to grab their diplomas and meet up with their families while half-listening to distinguished speakers dispense timeless wisdom and advice.
A few days ago I was walking near my apartment when a swarm of young men and women whooshed by me. They were all wearing long robes and holding their mortarboard hats fast to their heads, as they rushed in the direction of our neighborhood school. "Hurry!" I heard one say to the others, laughing. "We can't be late for our own graduation!"
Before everyone got so uptight and sensitive about what was supposed to be a celebration of opportunity, netting stud graduation speakers used to be a bragging rights battle among upper echelon schools and a bit of a star-struck send-off for the grads. Now it's a broken cycle that needs to be fixed.
Long ago, I was a nervous young graduate forced to appear in public wearing a humiliating cap-and-gown ensemble. What the real world had in store for me, I did not know. I presumed it would be like The Real World, whereby a television producer would provide me with a spectacular free loft to live in with a group of fun-loving peers.