20Jun/175

The Graduate

The record now shows that I have been formally educated, but before I ever got to Stanford, I knew myself well enough. I'd traveled the world and achieved my childhood dream of becoming a 'rockstar'. After that, I dug myself into a pit so deep I was sure I'd never get out, but then I did get out. I'd read hundreds of books at the public library, and I'd met hundreds of people in my public schools, and I'd loved, and I'd lost, all before I ever went to Stanford.

Stanford Diploma, B.S. Electrical Engineering.

My mom taught me how to read and write, and how to tell right from wrong. She showed me that a person can inherit much less than they'd hoped to, and still create more than they'd ever dreamed of. She created me, both my body and my mind.

When I was younger, I can remember watching my dad toil in the hot sun, sweat dripping from every surface of his body. I can remember him insulting people brazenly, and he was never one to shy away from telling even the most offensive jokes in the most delicate of places. He taught me how to work hard, and how to be my authentic self, even when that self differed from what the world demands us to be.

My brother taught me to be a friend. He suffered through the years before I understood much about kindness. He patiently waited as I transformed from his older brother, the bully, into the somewhat more compassionate man that I am today. After all that he's been through, he's still nice as ever. He taught me that emotional strength is subtle, and that even though it often goes unrecognized, it is the most important kind of strength to have.

My older sister has always been independent, fortified, and in control of her own path through life.  She left home around fourteen, and I always felt like our time together was cut short.  Still, she showed me that sometimes the best way to find ourselves is to just go out and explore the world.  Watching her become a great mother has proven the method behind her madness, and has inspired our whole family.

All of these people, and so many more, already taught me everything I needed to know, long before I ever got to Stanford. Yet still, now I have this piece of paper, "with all the Rights, Privileges, Honors, and Responsibilities thereunto appertaining". Maybe someday I'll figure out what that phrase is supposed to mean, but for now it just sounds like noise.

People have expressed that they are proud of me, and maybe I really have changed. I can certainly solve for "X", now.  But really, when I got to Stanford, I already knew everything I needed to know, and I learned it all from my family and friends.

So, congratulations to all of you: this is your accomplishment, not mine. And thank you for everything you've done for me along the way.  I know that I will continue to lead a successful life because of the foundation you helped me lay.

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  1. I love you, Ron. Congrats!

  2. I’ve seen you reach some great peaks and I’ve seen you stroll a few valleys. Perhaps you were a tad young for both challenges. You have been blessed to have a family looking over your shoulder, working hard to keep you on path. Your music seemed to express your treks though those valleys. Now, you have matured into a fine man, and I look forward to a new day, a new song. May happiness be true to you, and may life be long and good to you.

  3. I love you. You’ve gone through so much and you’ve made it. I’m happy you’re safe and ok despite everything you’ve faced. I love you I love you I love you. I’ll talk to you soon. <3

  4. Congratulations Ronnie you always been one of my Favorites and will always be

  5. I remember first hearing you play in a little coffee shop in Cedar City, UT when I was 19. I bought your CD and ten years later I still feel everything when I hear your songs. I looked for you on social media and found your website. Congratulations on your education and everything you’ve become.


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