weather unavailableweather unavailable
Make us your home page

A few things to learn now that tassels are turned

Matthew Vaughn adjusts his cap before the Land O’Lakes High commencement ceremony at the USF Sun Dome on Wednesday. This year’s class of 591 is the largest in school history.


Matthew Vaughn adjusts his cap before the Land O’Lakes High commencement ceremony at the USF Sun Dome on Wednesday. This year’s class of 591 is the largest in school history.

To the class of 2008, get ready to roll your eyes.

There are 3,236 of you leaving Pasco's public schools who thought you were free and clear of lessons, at least for the summer. Turns out, there is more to learn. Consider these as suggestions for success or as a refresher course from the past 13 years as you wake up this morning a high school graduate or sit down later today for commencement:

Choke the gas guzzlers. By the end of today, some of you will have ridden in a limo. Don't get used to it unless you plan to work for a livery.

Get more exercise. The confusion is understandable. The state is mandating more physical exercise for middle school students at the same time budget constraints are limiting the number of interscholastic games for middle school teams. Which is it?

Better play it safe. Now that you're out of high school, the cardio workouts are your own responsibility.

Can the magic tricks.

Don't blame wizardry for your job disappearing if you fail to meet performance expectations.

Report to work each day. Showing up for occasional document signings and front-seat Chevy Suburban meetings doesn't cut it.

Expect people to show you appreciation for a job well done, not simply for doing your job. Don't anticipate applause for blowing your nose. Unless you're running for president.

Don't plan on a salary increase every year even if you ratified a contract that says you are entitled to one. In the union world, this is known as a give-back. In the management circle, it's called job protections. For you graduates, it will be characterized as a tight job market.

Don't ask somebody else to lose their job so you can get an extra 800 bucks a year.

Keep drinking the fruit juice. That's not the reason for childhood obesity.

Go easy on the sugar and caffeine. The guy in the next cubicle will appreciate it.

Don't smoke. If you've started, quit. If nothing else, it will improve your job prospects in Pasco County government.

Drive safely. There are enough road side memorials along Pasco's highways, including one for someone you know or with whom you may have gone to school.

Use your cell phones for talking, preferably not while you're driving.

Use your turn signal.

Stop texting. Start talking. There is no greater instant message than one from mouth to ear.

Parrot the winning Super Bowl quarterback when asked, "What are you going to do next?'' Graduates from Zephyrhills High could legitimately answer "I'm going to Disney World.''

They might as well. Their commencement ceremony Thursday evening was at the Lakeland Center, 26 miles from the high school, or nearly half-way to the Magic Kingdom's exit 64 on I-4.

Let the little kids win in kickball. It will avoid bruised egos for the children and broken bones for the adults.

Take in a Rays game. Most people enjoy visitors even without a new $450-million house to show off.

Balance your checkbook. It will help curb rejection of your ATM card.

Watch your spending. It will help curb rejection of your annual budget request and answer the scrutiny of your end-of-the-year surplus that contradicted proclamations of heading for the poor house.

Question authority. Unless you're the boss.

Listen to others. Especially if you're the boss.

Listen to music from a string instrument that doesn't need to be plugged into an amplifier.

Keep cracking the books. They're free at the library. Unless you want to borrow one from Hillsborough County's library system.

Invest in real estate, if you can afford it.

Don't join anonymous land trusts. Remember, bullying is prohibited even if you've graduated from the code of student conduct.

Volunteer. You remain a vital part of the community even without the Interact Club.

As always, thank your teachers for a job well done. They're the ones dressed in black.

A few things to learn now that tassels are turned 06/05/08 [Last modified: Monday, June 9, 2008 1:54pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours