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Pawnee Annie delivers sage graduation advice
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“Pom, pom pom pom, pooooom, poooom,” (That’s “Pomp and Circumstance”)
In Kansas, schools and universities are either preparing for graduation or conducting graduation exercises this month. And the public school kids (of all ages) will soon be chanting, “School’s out, school’s out, teacher let the fools out!”
The GBHS graduation ceremony was held last week at the Great Bend High School Memorial Stadium. The seniors’ last day was Thursday, May 14, so by the time you read this column, the graduates will have been loosed from their cages.
I was pleased to read that the Great Bend School district boasts a graduation rate of 78.9 percent of the student population, with a dropout rate of only 2.7 percent.  There are 12.8 students per teacher, and 2,945 students enrolled in Great Bend. 918 are high school students from grades 9-12.
So, in keeping with the tradition of the many speeches, passing on knowledge and wisdom, instruction and warning to our graduating Seniors, I will proceed as well.     
Here is MY advice.
• Whatever you do, continue to pursue some kind of education. Learn a trade. You will have to support yourself at some point. SO, select a profession or trade that society really needs.
Don’t waste your money or your parents’ funds pursuing some useless occupation that doesn’t really exist.  Consider studying or doing apprentice work to become a plumber, an electrician, a teacher, a beautician, an engineer, a social worker, a scientist, a nurse, or any medical occupation.
If you have the opportunity and love of farming, wonderful! Get more training. If you can build houses, learn the finer points. You get the drift. Always improve.
Making a lot of money is not the answer to happiness. Choose a profession or trade that YOU like and enjoy doing..
• Fred’s expression is this: “If you are going to walk in the chicken yard, you will get manure on your feet.”
Choose your friends carefully.  Think before you act. Don’t let your friends’ choices pull you down; allow your choices to pull them up. College is the “perfect storm” for doing hair brained things. Respect yourself and respect others.
• Say Please, Thank you, Excuse me, and Yes Sir.
Good manners make a way for you with professors, counselors, family, and friends. Step up a level higher. Say what you mean and mean what you say. You are an adult now.
• Remember, you are responsible for you. You can not blame your parents, your friends,or your situations for who you are and where you are headed. You are the final authority, and you can do whatever you set your mind to do. No one can stop you but YOU.
“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. You are the guy who’ll decide where to go” (Dr. Seuss).
• Live a good, honorable life. Then when you get older and think back, you’ll enjoy it a second time. If you make a mistake and find yourself in a hole, then stop digging!  
Everyone makes mistakes. The courage comes in correcting them.
• And last, live simply, love generously, care deeply, speak kindly. Leave the rest to God.  These are all tips that if followed, will direct every other decision in your life with success and well being.
What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us. (Ralph Waldo Emerson)
Good luck, and may you be successful in all that you pursue.

“Woman’s View” is Judi Tabler’s reflection of her experiences and events. She is a wife, mother, writer, teacher, grandmother, and even a great grandmother.