Fore, part IV: A few words from your sports editor
We’re wrapping up the 2016-17 season, also known as the sports editor gets ready to go on a golf vacation, with the following columns:
Thursday: Freud’s favorite moments of the year.
Friday: The best of 2016-17.
Saturday: The best games of the year.
Today: Freud gives a graduation speech.
And, now for some profundity, some meeply deaningful advice.
There is a certain irony that I address Eagle County graduates with as they head off to college as it took me seven years to graduate from college, culminating in much Pomp and Circumstance 20 years ago next week.
This experience posed a wee bit of a strain in my relationship with my father, who also went to college for seven years as an undergrad and then also law school at Yale.
Pop could not conceive that someone from his genetic pool could be such a screw-up in academia. And in defense of the Doskows, my Mom’s family, it wasn’t their genes either. Mom’s father clerked for Justice Benjamin Cardozo. The Doskows are also wickedly smart people.
It was on me.
Participate in The Longevity Project
The Longevity Project is an annual campaign to help educate readers about what it takes to live a long, fulfilling life in our valley. This year Kevin shares his story of hope and celebration of life with his presentation Cracked, Not Broken as we explore the critical and relevant topic of mental health.
And now, it’s on you.
The point of going to class
You have grown up in Happy Valley. There’s a reason your sports reporter took a job with the Vail Daily and stayed — it’s cool to live here.
Yet, this is not the real world. It’s time to do things on your own. You are now in charge of budgeting your time and your money and you’re doing it without the safety net of your family.
This is probably where I first went wrong. I partied and forgot to go to class.
Don’t do that.
You are in one of the following scenarios:
• You are paying for college, so going to class and keeping up with your work is in your interest.
• You have scholarships, and you will lose them if you do not go to class and do your homework.
• You will be paying for college via loans, and there’s no point to be burdening yourself with this debt if you’re not going to class or doing your homework.
• You’re very lucky that your family can afford tuition. Even if you are in said situation, go to bleeping class and do your homework. Try coming home without a diploma after your folks have spent all of that money. I did that. It was a highly overrated experience.
Do you see the theme, people?
Of course, there are distractions at college. Of course, you are going to go to a party (or seven). Perhaps, you have already been to a party where alcohol was served and/or assorted smoking was accessible.
It is up to you.
Yes, it’s exciting to go to a kegger or a fraternity party and get wasted. That is part of college life. The key in all things is moderation, something at which I did not and do not specialize, be it booze, the Giants, golf, etc. We’re done with the first, knock on wood, but still slightly obsessive about baseball, if you haven’t noticed. And I’m playing golf on the day you’re reading this.
You may think I’m overreacting or transposing my life onto yours. Yes, I’m probably doing both, but your family is similarly freaked out about you being on your own making these decisions.
Dealing with failure
Once at school, you will realize first that your sports writer is not documenting everything you do and declaring it marvelous.
Here’s another possibility — you are going to fail.
The degree to which you fail is up to you.
What do you do now? Pick yourself up, dust yourself off and try again. (Yes, that was very cliche, but this is important.) This is going to happen countless times in life.
Yes, it’s going to be a shock when your grades aren’t as good as they usually are in high school. You may think you’re majoring in one area, and find you can’t cut it. (I had in my dorm quite a few pre-med majors who were liberal-arts majors after a few weeks of advanced biology, chemistry or math.)
Failing at something in college is preparing you for life, kids.
You’re going to be fired from your job at some point. A business you start may not pan out. Relationships will not work out. Stuff happens, and that’s not an exact translation of what I really meant.
How you handle failure will be a measure of your success as a person in college and in life.
Different is good
Yes, there are many common landing spots for alumni of Battle Mountain High School, Eagle Valley High School, Vail Christian High School and Vail Mountain School — such as University of Colorado, Colorado State University, Colorado Mesa University, Western State Colorado University, Colorado School of Mines, Fort Lewis College or University of Northern Colorado, which I thought was Chapel Hill until I moved here. I was very impressed that Eagle County sent so many people to North Carolina State University, a great school.
Keeping in touch with your high school friends is fine. Rooming with them is not. Another part of college — aside from going to class and doing your homework, hint, hint — is meeting other people from different parts of the state, the country and the world.
If you’re going to a state school — first off, no commentary, I’m San Francisco State, 1997, myself — then meet someone from Sterling or Limon or Lyons or Denver. If you’re going to school out of state, then explore.
And what you’re going to find is all sorts of different backgrounds and perspectives on the world that are completely new. Terrific. Continue doing that. And, oh, by the way, you might think other people are strange, but you’re the weird one having grown up in a ski resort and in a state where Mary Jane is legal. Trust me.
Along these lines, take different electives. If you’re a WASP like me, then take an African-American history course. If you’re on the STEM track, then outstanding. Take an art history or a poetry course. Liberal-arts major? Huzzah and welcome to the club. Do take some computer courses. Being technologically proficient is a requirement these days.
Since this is a graduation speech, here’s a quote, “Make it a point to do something every day that you don’t want to do.” Mark Twain said that, not Eleanor Roosevelt, as I thought.
See, we’re already learning.
And a few other things
• Quarters are a currency, not a drinking game: Apparently, pingpong balls have replaced the quarters of my day. Again, a little fun is OK. But quarters are for laundry. I’m looking at you, guys. The sniff test of a shirt you take off of the couch to wear is not going to fly. Laundry is our friend, gents and don’t bring home a gigantic bag thinking your mom is going to do it. Elsa Freud wasn’t buying that in 1990.
• Call your folks once in a while: Yes, I gather texting is trendy. So is Facebook, Twitter, etc. Doubtless by saying this, I am antiquating myself. Nonetheless, stop playing games on your phone and actually use it as a phone, yes, a novel concept. Your parents would like to hear from you on other occasions than when you are asking them to send money. Do them that courtesy.
• And having admonished you with all of this wisdom, you’ve got this. We, as a community, have watched you grow up. We’ve reveled in your successes. We’ve shared in your failures. You’ll fall flat on your face at times on this bumpy road. Learn from it and become better and stronger.
Class dismissed and where are my golf clubs?