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Luke Martin - If I spoke at GSU graduation, this is what I'd say
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Once again, Georgia Southern President Dr. Bruce Grube, in his abundant wisdom, has chosen not to ask me to address this year's graduates from Georgia Southern University, thereby denying me my lifelong dream of being able to be ignored by thousands of people simultaneously.
    By doing so, he is depriving eager young graduates, bored parents and younger siblings the wit and wisdom that has earned me numerous "What are you talking about?" looks from friends, family and strangers waiting outside restaurants.
    But fortunately my boss doesn't really care what I write about in my columns so long as I don't offend our advertisers or repeat what he said about his boss, so I'd like to take this opportunity (as I've done in the past) to share with you what I would have said had Dr. Grube not lost my phone number.
    Parents, siblings, friends who couldn't come up with an excuse not to be here, faculty, staff and other Georgia Southern employees who are being paid to be here and, most importantly, soon-to-be graduates, welcome to the last day of the first part of your life.
    I'll keep this short because I remember sitting in my graduation thinking, "who is this person and why are they still talking?" And while I'm sure whoever it was that spoke at my graduation imparted many important life lessons, all I remember is that we had a speaker. Hopefully, years from now, you'll at least remember you had a speaker.
    For the past four, five, six or more years, you've been working towards a goal. For some of you, that was getting to this point in your education so you can go out and be a productive member of society. For others of you, it's been trying to avoid getting to this point so you could continue being unproductive leaches of society.
    But either way, you're here now, about to embark on the journey known as life. Well, some people call it life, others call it dealing with the day-to-day minutiae until the sweet, sweet hand of death takes you away from the monotony of a repetitive job, nagging kids and a significant other who has badgered you to clean out the gutters and mow the lawn for two weeks while you'd rather watch the NFL draft and the baseball game and then go drinking with your buddies . . . or so I've heard.
    You've worked hard to get to this point in your life. The good news is you don't have to work hard any more. You've got your degree and once you get a job, you can just coast for the next 40 years until you retire. That's what I plan on doing, anyway. And if you ask my boss, he'll tell you I've been doing that since I got here.
    While you've strived to reach this point, you haven't made it here alone. There are a lot of people who you owe a lot to. And I'm not talking about gratitude or appreciation - I'm talking cold, hard cash. A lot of people made lots of sacrifices for you to get where you are, and when you get that first paycheck, they're going to want a cut of it.
    Well, I see that you all are getting tired of waiting to get your diploma and I'm sure you've all got job interviews lined up for later on today, but before I conclude, I'd like to offer you three bits of wisdom that have carried me far in life.
    - Never use a big word when a diminutive one will suffice.
    - Never sell your car for gas money.
    - Flattery will get you everywhere.
    Remember those three things and you'll go far in life. Forget those things and you'll go farther in life.
    I see the red light in the back is flashing and the orchestra is warming up, so my time appears to be up. Good luck graduates, and remember, I'll be in the back accepting your financial appreciation for my short speech.
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