Onward And Upward!

Today is graduation day at Long Beach State. Wednesday, May 20th, 2020. There are a lot of young people not able to celebrate their graduation they way we did. I’m sure no one ever thought of a graduation ceremony as a “luxury” but here we are.

College graduation is a big deal… ask anyone who graduated. It’s the end of one chapter of life and the beginning of another. There’s no way to downplay the importance of leaving the educational system and going out into the world to begin a new career. I know people who have struggled to leave the college cocoon, and some who never left it. The “new chapter” can be difficult, humbling, nearly always challenging, unless one’s new career is being held open for them. For most of the graduates, this moment begins the phone calls, the interviews, the knocking on doors and the desperately holding onto whatever delicate self confidence they have managed to build over their years in school. Taking all that into account, this moment in the graduates’ lives demand, at the very least, a leap of faith, a leap into the unknown that will take courage and patience to put their education, and/or their talents and experience, to positive use.

I’m celebrating the graduation of Dillon Hulse from Long Beach State. He has earned his degree in journalism, with new experience in video production, and shows great promise in several aspects of these endeavors. I am immensely proud of him and all he has achieved to this point. He has been a good composer for years now and these added abilities will be a welcome addition to his already impressive resume.

Yes, Dil is my son, my kid, if you will. Of course I’m proud of him and think he’s brilliant. I want the world to open up to him and offer him exactly the projects and challenges that fall directly in his line of talent and passion. I want him to be successful, fulfilled and satisfied with his life choices. His mom and I tried to give him the best springboard we could to launch him into this part of his life. but it’s a tough world out there for the kids Dillon’s age. Look at our politics. Look at our over-population. Look at all the industries that have left our country. The competition for good jobs and career positions have lines of qualified, well-educated young people waiting for interviews for these positions. Add to that the coronavirus surfacing now, shutting down most businesses across the country, killing thoughts (for the time being) of testing the entrepreneurial waters.

And now our graduates don’t get to “walk.” How high have we now set the bar for these graduating people? Appears to me this is the worst situation ever for anyone wanting to begin a career in America. Appears to me we have almost tried to make this transition as difficult as possible. My generation and the generations that followed it were all hit with the same baccalaureate speech themes this year’s graduates have heard – “It’s in your hands now, to make it a better world.” Yeah, that’s right. The speakers back then told us the same thing. Sounded good at the time, and we thought we could change it… we really did! And look at what we’ve ended up with! Some of us in the graduating class of ’62 really tried to do our part to make the world a better place for all of us. Then two years out we started a war in Viet Nam, and most of us got drafted. After that it was every man for himself!

Not going to get into the reasons we’re handing such a horrific mess to our graduates… we all have our own theories. There are plenty of downsides to the immediate future. The upside is that the graduates that can figure out how to navigate these turbulent waters and land a secure position (if such a thing exists) will end up being creative, versatile and wise in the ways of negotiating their way into positions that will provide security and creativity for them. And with so many small businesses about to go under, there might be room for some new start-ups in that less-crowded landscape.

Bachelor Of Arts — Journalism

Rachel Catherine Hanna
Michelle Hauff
Samuel Edward Hill
Rachel Krista Hogg
Sharmina Afsana Hossain
Joseph Cory Huerta I
Jacob Michael Hughey
Dillon Harley Hulse          <<<<<
Sydni Ingram
Gabriel Enrique Islas, Jr.
Ashley Garcia Javelosa
Erika Johnson
Nicholas Stephen Johnson

He also made the “Exceptional Student Achievement” list for maintaining a gpa of 3.8.

Dil got some great experience as a cameraman for the Long Beach basketball and baseball teams. He can now shoot special features of any sort, write the scripts and copy for them, and edit them… even do original music for them! I’m in awe…

For now, he’ll party with his pals and enjoy this recent success. And that’s how it should be. We’ll hoist our glasses to him today here on the island, proud of him and happy to be a part of his life. For soon enough, the fog of the future, which has rarely been so dense, is waiting for him and his fellow grads. What sage, parting words do I have for him and them? Simple… Release The Hounds! Or, as my friend Jack would say, with a drink in his hand and shit-eating grin on his face, “Onward into the fog!”

Steve Hulse

3 Replies to “Onward And Upward!”

  1. Friend Steve; a worthy tribute/challenge to a youngster who possesses. a large part of your heart, and a large part of your varied talents. This is, indeed, a “big deal”. And a way of carrying a bit of you into the fog also (again). Wouldn’t it be great if they could-and would, listen ten to Dear Old Dad a little bit? Or maybe not. Let them make their own mistakes without repeating ours. Keep up the good work, and continue the good fight! Love to all family! Johnny CLark

  2. Bravo Dillon! Absolutely wonderful to get some expanded news about you. I would like to weigh in on the subject of this trying time relative to the future. Your future… Your dad suggested that this just may be an opportune time for entrepreneurs. I for one agree whole heartedly with that possibility. If a young and energetic person – particularly one with multiple skills & talents – using a lens of foresight, will be able to shape his/her future while others try to inhabit past structures. What I think will be the same is the exceptionally hard work, creative thinking and, most of all, risk taking. The only possible failure is not trusting your own best instincts. Took me way too long to trust myself. When I finally did I enjoyed unimagined success and satisfaction. The best thing about your father has always been his evolving freedom, quiet courage, and ability to see around corners. Not a bad role model. Congratulations and the very best of good fortune to you.

    Joe the bear

  3. Steve – congrats to Dillon!! Sooo happy for him. Know you are so proud of him – loved your column.

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