George Worthy
George Worthy

Today I want to address the activities that are occurring on just about every college campus in the United States. I don’t know who is responsible, but it seems to have just about everyone involved. These kids seem to feel as if they will get their grades in a timely manner and that graduating is just another few weeks to go.

I watched the chaos for a few days before it no longer held any interest to me. I don’t know how I finished getting my diploma without throwing rocks at the windows of the Dean’s office. Oh yeah! Now I remember! I was going to go back to school to get my diploma. I thought that if I could get my diploma at the ripe old age of … well, let’s just say that when I enrolled they didn’t know what to do with me. 

“You have to get all your credits from all the other schools you might have attended,” the very young lady told me. I thought to myself that I surely can find all those papers somewhere. After all, I was pretty sure that the schools I had attended were well accredited.

So I sat down and started writing to my old posts, from Fort Sam Houston, where I was trained to be a combat medic, to the University of North Carolina, where I took classes in English. Back then the Army was training men in the language of the population we were to be posted.

Since I was sure my next post would be in Vietnam, that was the language I tried to learn. For those classes I got credits in learning a basic level of a conversation in Vietnamese. Then the language of Khmer, since we were signing up able bodied soldiers from Cambodia. And Lao, since we were looking to train the Laos soldiers to be our private Army.

To be honest, those languages were beyond my ability to learn or keep up with the Montagnard people we worked with every day. They were taught English because they were so happy to work with us and they didn’t like anything the Vietnamese did. So we were lazy and taught them English so we didn’t have to look completely dumb. In any case, the University of North Carolina gave us credit for a foreign language when we came home.

These were the transcripts I turned in to the proper folks out at California State University at Monterey Bay. Because it had been so long since I had been in school and because the schools I attended were so far apart, they had to sit down with me and together we came up with all the credits I needed to get into college and to graduate in two years. I tell you these things because I think CSUMB councilors will work hard to help someone get their diploma and to find the best way for you to graduate, if that is your plan. It was my plan and I was the oldest person in my graduating class. It can be done.

There was one thing that happened that didn’t make me smile. So you see the local television station in Salinas likes to honor the graduates that attend CSUMB and they put your name up and tell a little about where you are from. I got a call that said they would have my name up the next day. So, here I am, not because I was looking at being on TV, but because I have three children who I try to show that your age has little to do with what you become when you are older. They are all graduates and I am thrilled to think I had something to do with that.

It is, as I said, something I wanted my kids to know, but I also got a little smile when they told me that I would be in the news the next night. So I’m sitting there on the couch awaiting the big announcement and smiling so much I thought maybe my cheeks were splitting when I heard my name being called. I made sure the TV was in good working order when the announcer said, “… And here is George Worthy, from Gonzales who graduated this year.” Then she threw a foul ball and said, “He is 75 years old!”

I mean, she didn’t have to say that! Ah, but the school days are over, unless I decide to become a doctor. I have already been a doctor at one time in my life, but it was years ago and I’m pretty sure My Sweet Lorraine didn’t know about that! Just kidding….

So to all the students who are getting ready to graduate soon — congratulations. I hope you will be able to walk with your class of 2024. Unfortunately for me, I wasn’t able to have that luxury, as that was during the time we had that pesky Covid-19 outbreak. Many students during that time weren’t able to hit that important milestone.

Looking at what’s going on today I fear that some of those same students will not be able to walk at their college graduation. For those of you protesting, I hope you understand what it is you are protesting about. It is important to look at history and to understand why. Are you looking for a good grade? Perhaps you would like to be recognized for your grades? I don’t know for sure, but I suspect that a lot of those students fighting the police or other students just don’t understand what is truly being done to their future at this time of their life.

Of course, if we continue to let them do as they want to the college or school, their future is set. How will this affect their future employment? These videos last forever. I believe that many are living in the moment and are not looking ahead. School is like a job. You are graded by your attitude and you will have no chance to correct anything especially if it ends up on “YOUR PERMANENT RECORD.”

God Bless.

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Gonzales columnist George Worthy may be reached at [email protected].


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