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Apr 30, 2011

Close To Commencement

This morning I caught the interview show, Shatner's Raw Nerve. His guest on this early morning re-run was Weird Al Yankovic. Among the myriad of topics from his parents' deaths to his accordion practice schedule, I came to learn that Al finished High School as Valedictorian two years early and went on to receive a degree in Architecture by age 21.
The facts that Weird Al had a record contract and that he had appeared on television prior to graduating from college was not the part of this story that caught my attention. He is very intelligent and quite talented. What attracted my awareness was the Architecture degree. You see, Weird Al has now destroyed some of my parental advice.
My oldest daughter, Meagan, is nearing graduation from college. During her early years, she struggled to decide in what to major. After settling on Film School, she was rebuked by many people telling her there was not much industry in that field for her to get a real job. I continued to support her decision, advising that the degree itself is of much more importance than what it is in and that the only people whose major really matters are certified careers like engineers, pre-med, pre-law and the like. "After all, no one spends five years getting an Architecture degree and then not use it," I told her.
So while I still hold to my advice for her, that having the degree no matter what it's in is more important than not having one at all, I discovered only two weeks prior to her graduation that my primary example has been blown out of the water by perhaps the most famous architect-comedian since Bonanno Pisano. (For the non-architect readers, click the embedded link to get the joke.)
In truth, the talented polka player only further enriched the value of my advice to her: "Go to college; get a degree in something you enjoy and don't worry about what it's in. This will open up more opportunities. Then your talents can take you beyond what you can imagine possible today." I still believe that was good advice - perhaps not for everyone, but it was tailor-fit advice for that girl. And if it is not obvious, I am very proud of her accomplishment.
Lastly, I must admit that Weird Al has usurped my parental guidance before with his releases of Dare To Be Stupid and Don't Download This Song. But I guess I can forgive him again.

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