Every time I dip my toe into political posts around here, it sets off a debate in the comments section and I take my fair share of criticism. But this controversy over Cardinal O'Malley's boycott of next week's commencement sparked me to write my occasional advice to current students post. Take it all for what it is worth.
Dear current students:
If you care one way or the other about your commencement speaker, something is wrong. The only people you should care about attending your graduation are friends and family. Any other person you don't know -- whether they be famous and powerful or a nobody -- doesn't matter. What you should care about is getting through Senior Week in one piece, getting up Graduation morning and getting your cap and gown on. Getting across the stage and not making an ass out of your self in front of your parents and family is probably a good goal. They want to be proud and don't want to know what happened during Senior Week. Smile for their pictures. Give them plenty of thanks and let them know you appreciate all they have done to get you across that stage.
I am thankful that most BC students and family couldn't pick Edna Kenny out of a line up and would not recognize Cardinal O'Malley out of his robes. This day is not really about them. There will be plenty of time in your future to be political and take sides on important issues. This is not one of them. Just enjoy your graduation. Odds are it will be lousy weather (either really hot or really rainy) and you would want any speaker to keep his or her speech short. The only thing more rare than perfect weather on a BC Graduation Day is a BC commencement speaker who hits a home run with his or her speech. Most are forgettable. But Graduation Day itself is not forgettable.
Senior Week lives up to the hype, so you'll probably be exhausted by Graduation. Have fun, make memories and let Graduation be about friends, families and accomplishments, not politics.