Monday, July 5, 2010

Awesome High School and College Speeches


Deonte Bridges
Valedictorian Commencement Address
Booker T. Washington High School
Atlanta, Georgia


Joshua Bennett

University of Penn


WSOSP Yields to Video Commentary which speaks for itself

Youth continue to need a little encouragement and opportunity

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Photo Inspiration of the Class of 2010

Diana Alexander
BA Public Administration (with honors)
CalState San Bernardino
Kimberly M. Alexander
BA, Cal Poly Pomona
Computer Information Systems
Management and Human Resources
Olivia Letitia Monique Baker
MA, Social Work
Loma Linda University

Reginald Baker

Rio Linda Academy

Rio Linda, CA

Marva Bourne
Marital and Family Therapy
Loma Linda University
Laurel Alyson Ayana Enix *
with honors
Loma Linda Academy
Loma Linda, California

Fredrick Harris *
BA Business/Finance
University of California at Riverside

Reyna Gizelle Destiny Harvey-Bell
Loma Linda Academy
Loma Linda, California

Laurel Enix and Reyna Bell

Gabriel Irby
8th Grade
Mesa Grande Academy
Calimesa, CA
Crystalyn Joesph-Jones

BS Psychology

University of Phoenix

San Jose, CA
Domonique Nicolle Jones
Loma Linda Academy
Loma Linda, California

Michonne Danielle Parker **
Oakwood Adventist Academy
Huntsville, Alabama

Tanisha Polidore-Penick

Educational Psychology
Alliant of San Diego State International University

Paul Anthony Porter III

Phillip Anthony Reynolds
Loma Linda Academy
Loma Linda, California

Arielle Richardson
Pleasant Hill Academy
Pleasant Hill, California

Christopher Robinson
Seaman Recruit
3rd with highest honors out of 600 graduates
Grand Lakes, Illinois
Khyrista Valentine **
BA Biology
Oakwood University
Huntsville, AL

Sedona Valentine **
BA Psychology with a specialization in Pre-Health Professional
Pepperdine University

**my relative/kinfolk
*babysit which makes me an adopted uncle
I witnessed ten of the above graduates receive their diplomas and each time was just as exciting and significant. ALL of the above graduates and their families makes up the textured fabric of my rich life. Inspiration indeed.

Proud and with chin in the air,

WSOSP Observations of Educational Institutions at Commencement Ceremonies 2010:

Cal State Pomona: kudos: shortest prelim before awarding of diplomas
fail: some paid to park (I didn't)
Loma Linda Academy kudos: genuine love felt/seen between faculty and students
fail: faculty lines-up in middle aisle on graduates recessional PROLONGING the relatives and friends greeting of their love ones.

Loma Linda University: kudos: best high definition jumbo video screens
fail: parking (nightmare)

Univeristy of California- Riverside: kudos: best signage from blocks away, as well as on campus
fail: printed program cost $5.00

Cal State San Bernardino: kudos: graduates names were shown below the video of them
receiving their diplomas
fail: a) only graduates received printed programs
b) PhD faculty literally chasing beach balls to confiscate from graduates doing ceremony

+click on any graduate photo to enlarge the picture

Monday, June 21, 2010

Erykah Badu Concert

Some names has a ring/flow to it: like Barack Obama and Erykah Badu. I do not have any of Erykah Badu's CD's or DVD's. I don't even now how many CD's she's release. This is not a good thing when you are at a live concert because you find yourself being the last one standing on a hit song. That happen to me last night at her concert. My previous experience of her has been limited to her appearances at events like the Million Man March or for some national disaster fund relief concert. I was broadsided to discovered that she is very "raw", and that's a mild adjective. She gave an excellent concert-quite entertaining. I love her sound and music. Not on board with much of the lyrics though. i.e. "I use to pray but I don't anymore cause I got much love. She's in to that god new age philosophy.

The cool evening was perfect while sitting under the stars at the Greek Theater in the hills of Los Angeles. A friend living in Fresno couldn't make the concert so the ticket was given to me free. Good seats in the B section.

The two opening acts were artist I hadn't heard of. Janelle Monae and Lupe Fiasco. Both had incredible energy that it tend to tire the mature audience out, but they had many fans appreciating them by their cheers. Janellle Monae is known as the James Brown of the day. It appeared that many came to hear them because they were somewhat calm on Erykah.

My wow moment was from none of the names on the billboard. Between the opening acts and Erykah, a DJ came on the stage and start playing clips of hot songs old&new. The energy level of the crowd was thunderous---everyone was on their feet and a party was going on. It was the most amazing thing I've experience at a concert. The place sits 5,000 and it was almost a sold out crowd and just about everyone were singing along with the songs that were played. Of course none of the songs were gospel tunes, so I wasn't able to bellow out any of the words but the spirit of happiness and joy and clapping of hands I was happy to contribute. I actually enjoyed that 10-15 min set out of the entire evening. Crazy uh? Don't tell the artist.

The DJ set, made the atmosphere ripe for Badu's tardy entrance. One thing I appreciate and walked away reflecting about Badu is that she's a real sista. Refreshing change from fake smiling in your face artist and some people in this world.

Sing on Erykah Badu with your bad self

Monday, June 7, 2010

Missing your own graduation?

Laurel Enix
Loma Linda Academy
Class of 2010

Laurel's graduation was at 6 pm yesterday on the lawn behind the school. At 2 a.m. she became very sick (stomach flu). At 3pm, a friend of the family sat in the hot sun reserving seats for the family. At 4:30pm another family friend, Heidi and her daughters, made certain that the row of seats remain reserved for the Holmes-Enix families. At 6:15pm, how disappointed we were that Laurel was not in the line to march. [granted we saw her march in on Friday night and Saturday morning, but those services were not commencement]. Before the processional was completed, we got word from Debbie that Laurel was getting ready and will come just to walk across the stage. One of the class sponsors found a cool room in the building for her to wait until diploma time. When her row stood up to receive their diplomas, Laurel appeared. Smiles replaced the sundry facial expressions of her family and love ones. When her name was called, we cheered for two reasons: the completion from high school and for her improved health (answered --many prayers) to be present. She sat with her class (many sporting sun glasses as they were facing west as the sun was setting). Though not 100% well, Laurel stayed and was able to receive all the love, hugs, kisses from her friends and relatives.

I understand why people cry at graduations, it just never happens to me. Saturday night at the Class Night Talent Show, the students who participated walked out on this 45 feet or so runway. When I saw tall Laurel confidently strolling out there as if she was a professional model, it hit me that she wasn't that little girl anymore that I've watch grow up. How fortunate for me that it was dark in the audience with the spot light on the runway so that my tears of joy went unnoticed. Her father would have been so proud with his chest extended way out beyond normal. I can see myself saying to him "Ernest, stick that chest back in cause you look silly", only to watch him extend it further in protest of my comment. Of course her mother had enough pride for all us. Her excitement was wrapped with tiredness because she made the entire weekend very special for Laurel including a catered dinner at a local community center for family and friends. Laurel was also grinning for another reason beside graduating: her relatives from Pennsylvania and Florida flew out to support and congratulate her. (photo's attached).

My fashion consultant (casual wear) will attend Oakwood University in the Fall. Her roommate will be my brother's youngest daughter, Michonne. How confuse their friends will be when I visit to hear them both call me Uncle.

I'm sure at all future Holmes-Enix family gatherings, the subject of almost missing your own graduation will be discussed. How happy we all are that Laurel Enix didn't have to miss hers.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Valedictorian N My Family

Michonne D. Parker
Oakwood Academy
Valedictorian is an academic title typically conferred in the United States upon the highest ranked student among those being graduated from an educational institution. The term is an anglicized derivation of the Latin vale dicer ("to say farewell"), historically rooted in the valedictorian's traditional role as the final speaker at the graduation ceremony. The valedictory address generally is considered a final farewell to classmates, before they disperse to pursue their individual paths after graduating.

val·e·dic·to·ri·an [val-i-dik-tawr-ee-uhn]
a student, usually the one ranking highest academically in a school graduating class, who delivers the valedictory at the commencement exercises.

Origin: 1750–60, Americanism; valedictory + -an

Use Valedictorian in a Sentence:

My niece, Michonne D. Parker, was the Valedictorian of her graduating class today.

The weekend flew by in the humid red clay state of Alabama. The candlelight consecration service on Friday night, the Saturday morning worship service, the Saturday afternoon mushy, dramatic, tear flowing tributes from graduates to their parents. The final day of Commencement Sunday morning at 10:00am. I've already mentioned Michonne giving the valediorian address. Of course that was my highlight moment. Other honorable mentions are:

Alabama State Assembly Laura Hall volunteering on a phone conversation I had with her two days before to come make remarks and congratulate Michonne at the ceremony.

Terri White-Mitchell, one of my college classmate, was one of the graduating class sponsors. Her leadership reduce the length of this blog entry because Terri is organized, pay attention to the details and basically takes care of business. She was like that in college too.

Dr. Philip Williams, another one of my college classmate, skill of bringing out the melodious sounds of the choir, many of whom were graduates. At the Sabbath service, he had alumni join on a selection which was just the bomb.
Michonne both set of grandparents traveled to honor her achievement. Mrs. Valentine, on her birthday weekend, had other grandchildren in other states also graduating, one on the same weekend and she was able to make them all: thank God for airplanes. Elder and Mrs Parker, who doesn't seem to miss any graduations, were there and first to be dressed and ready to go at the wonderful age of 85.

The only blooper of the weekend was my 3pm flight out of Nashville to return home. It meant as soon as the benediction was given, I had to scurry to the car for the trip back to Nashville. I was able to hug Michonne and take a couple of pictures with the family. (See below).

Though it was a quick trip and fast pace weekend, it was enjoyed by all the Valentine-Parker Clan celebrating the family's first valedictorian.