I’m thankful I made the effort to attend the graduation. It was an effort since Hubby is still in a wheelchair after falling off the garage roof. Anyway, I found the event to be uplifting and hopeful. The speaker for the graduation was a Washington State alum who described herself as an ordinary student. Her grades had been okay but not great. She went on to describe how through a series of opportunities based on being in the right place at the right time, she was able to change hospital protocols to reduce the rate of in-hospital infections by forty percent. I felt impressed by how she emphasized that she’d been an ordinary student much like the three thousand graduating from this state college.
When we look at the news, we see the injustice and corruption that seem to rule our country. We hear about this person or that who graduated from Harvard or Yale. We never hear about the thousands of people who graduate from our state universities where like at WSU integrity and high moral standards are the expected norm. We never hear about the thousands of young people who just may find themselves in the right place at the right time to find the key to solving a significant problem.
As I listened to the speakers, I was reminded of my own education. My experience in my field has changed my understanding of the causes behind behavior a hundred and eighty degrees. However, my basic state university education taught me more than the prevalent theories of the day. I learned how to recognize valid, reliable research. I learned how to think critically. I learned how to learn and the importance of continuing to learn throughout my life. The same values that I learned as a student at this humble state university are the same values that those three thousand young people are leaving here with. I see hope in seeing a crowd of people who can think and learn.
So, I learned something. I learned that we really do need to turn our backs on the mainstream media and engage with our communities to find the hope for our future.