Tag Archives: Seahawks

Another One Bites The Diploma

by Richard

Another year later, another big group of family coming to town as we watch another Jones boy walk across that stage, grab a diploma and hope nobody realizes they made a mistake and keeps him in high school.

Well, no, it’s really not that bad. In this case, it’s actually pretty great.

Zippy the Monkey Boy is graduating high school today and he’s doing it as his class salutatorian, which means he had the second-best grade-point average in his class. As such, he has to make a short speech during graduation.

He tried to dump the responsibility off on me, but I just let it bounce right back. As of Thursday night, he still hadn’t written a word. Graduation occurs today at 11 am. He says he works best under pressure. I can’t wait to tape this and then play it back for him the next time he says that stupid saying.

His mom and I are really proud of Zippy the Monkey Boy. In eighth grade, he was struggling, both academically and socially, and turning into a real sea urchin of a person, all spiky and prickly and somebody no one wanted to be around. Going to The Fletcher School, a private school for dudes and dudettes with learning disabilities, changed all that.

Thanks to fantastic teachers and administrators, Zippy the Monkey Boy became reenergized academically and not only enjoyed most of the work he was doing, but he actually looked forward to it. Socially, he started growing again, making friends and finding out that people actually could be good and were fun to be around.

That’s a lot of growth to pack into just four years. And he did it all while also discovering the joys of competitive basketball, flag football, cross country and, of course, girls.

The most important skill Zippy the Monkey Boy learned was how to climb trees on his own. I hardly ever had to get on his case to get him to do a project or remind him of an upcoming test. Sure, a lot of that was due to how The Fletcher School was run, but I’m hoping enough of that was innate that some will come through when he starts college at University of North Carolina Wilmington in the fall.

He’s already looking forward to that. I think, in his mind, he’s skipped the whole tedious graduation thing and is, even now, checking into his new dorm room and saying good-bye to the anchors (which would be his parents).

His mom and I, though, still are firmly rooted in the now. We’re going to smile and, maybe, cry just a little as our second young dude walks through another milestone on his way to his own life. This is the big one. Zippy the Monkey Boy is moving out of Casa de Dude, heading off to make his own nest and, we’re sure, make a whole lot of mistakes. We’re just hoping he’ll be able to straighten them out on his own.

It’s like Thomas Wayne, father to Bruce, said: “Why do we fall? So we can learn to pick ourselves up.”

Here’s to you, Zippy the Monkey Boy. You’ve made it through the hardest part of your life. What you didn’t know was that now we get to add two little words to that. Those words? So far. The hardest part of your life. . . so far. Now you get to do it all over again and this time you get to do it on your own.

The good news is that I know he can do it. He’s one of the most stubborn people on the face of the planet and, hopefully, his mother and I have taught him to use his powers for good, not evil

He’s moving from the Falcons to the Seahawks, but he’s still going to soar.

Congratulations, dude. We love you.

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The Parents’ Dilemma: College Edition

by Richard

Over the weekend, we got the last piece of good news. Zippy the Monkey Boy received word from the seventh college to which he applied that he’d been accepted.

So that was seven for seven, which was good. He got into the one college he really wanted to attend, University of North Carolina Wilmington, and, according to the news from the weekend, he also got into the school he didn’t think he had a chance at: my alma mater, the University of Florida.

Now I’m torn.

See, both Zippy the Monkey Boy’s mom and I graduated from the University of Florida. I was born in Gainesville, FL, and she attended medical school there. Additionally, both my parents graduated from there and my grandfather coached football there. So, yeah, UF runs deep in our family.

Now, the odds of Zippy the Monkey Boy getting accepted to the University of Florida were, at best, slim. Seriously slim. He was from out of state. He didn’t have that outstanding an SAT score. He was in the top 5% of his high-school class, but that was about it. Looking at it objectively, I didn’t think he had a chance.

Heck, looking at it objectively, I, with my test scores from back then, didn’t stand a chance at getting into UF with this class and I had a better SAT result than Zippy the Monkey Boy.

Things, as they say, were not looking good. And then we never heard from the University of Florida. Acceptances came and were disregarded. He got into all six of the other schools to which he applied, but still no word from UF. And then, finally, here in the ides of February, he finally heard.

I gotta say, I’m torn. Really, really torn. Zippy the Monkey Boy’s wanted to go to UNCW since he was old enough to know what a college was. But, as a son raised in a rabid orange-and-blue loving home of the Gators, he also loves UF. I really do want to keep pushing him to go to UF. I know it’ll be (much) more expensive, but I think Zippy the Monkey Boy is the last chance we have for any of our next generation to go to UF. I mean, I doubt Sarcasmo will be going to UF if he ever goes back to school and I know Hyper Lad, who’s currently getting his room painted in *gah* Alabama *gah* colors, won’t even consider it.

Zippy the Monkey Boy was our only choice. And I have this sinking feeling he’s not even really, seriously considering it. When the other choice is UNCW, a school he’s loved for so long and loved on his own, well. . . There’s no choice.

I guess I’ll have to get used to yelling, “Go, Seahawks!” during basketball season. At least since UNCW has not football team, I can still cheer for the Gators on the gridiron.

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