Daniel’s UCLA Graduation

Dear Osmo,

It was quite comfortable flying South West these past few years. Friendly crews with a sense of humor, fast and well organized boarding, open seating, unlimited peanuts – if you could tear your way through the bags, and choice of beverage – you didn’t get the full can if you didn’t ask for it – but, hey, it was free. The flights were short, the destinations fun, sunny, where young people liked to run half naked in the streets, busses were available to shuttle anyone, anywhere, anytime. Beaches, bars, Bell-Air, barbecues, baristas, basketball, Beverly-Hills, bruins – B’s were ubiquitous, A’s weren’t all that hard either – even adults were welcome from time to time. Pledges cleaned while you slept. Gyms kept you fit. Abundance of food sources replenished your energy. If you were hungry you swiped a card and got access to a dozen feeding stations, each packed with goodies, cheese, cereal, eggs, milk, meat, vegetables, rich on protein, lean on fat, balanced carbs, honey, sugar, jam, breads, pizzas, toast, sunny sides up or down on a sturdy base of pancakes. If you forgot your card, there was always someone to swipe for you. Even mendicancy was easy. All it took was piece of cardboard at the dining hall entrance and people lined up to feed you. A piece of paper – and you learned three hundred new words by glancing at them. Life was great peeking out the windows when flying South West.

There are so many more directions on the compass rose. They might not be as familiar, in fact almost all of them are new and not immediately accommodating, but they hold as much promise, if not more. Everything new is challenging. It’s time to make choices, to take risks, to make new things. Humor is a joy to listen to or watch, it’s so much harder to create, but your own creativity is far more rewarding than enjoying someone else’s. If it is hard at first, then humor is your best remedy. Learn to describe an exaggerated composition of the incongruence between real life and the life you would like to come out of a treasure chest, juxtapose your misperceptions with the expected outcomes. Now is a time to take chances and make mistakes. There is a North East wind coming, rise and fly with it – it will take you as far as you want to go, only this time you have to use your wings. They are strong and steady. They can carry you farther than you ever imagined, and if you need to go South West every now and then – we’ll be here.