Thursday, April 23, 2015

Q Toon: Trouble at Prom

At this time of year, I have often drawn a cartoon about high school prom. There is usually some story making the news about a school system forbidding same-sex dating or transgender outfits at prom, but that is kind of boring, cartoon-wise. I mean, how many ways can you draw cartoons about hidebound wet blanket school administrators denying Romeo and Julio from getting footloose on the dance floor?

Accordingly, several of my more recent cartoons have been set at schools where same-sex dating and girls in tuxes are no more remarkable than pink hair and tattoos. Which is to say: stop gawking, gramps. After all, polls show that there is greater acceptance of issues such as marriage equality among seniors in high schools than seniors in retirement homes.

Yet I realize that all is not all sweetness and enlightenment, even in the dance halls of academe.
Paul Berge
Q Syndicate
✒Apr 23, 2015
I have probably given away my age simply by including my AOL address in this week's cartoon (the Q Syndicate email service has been down for a couple of weeks for reasons to which I am not privy). I got the AOL address at the behest of an editor decades ago who wanted to be able to Instant Message us contributors. I already have more email addresses than I care to check on a daily basis, and I've never bothered to swap this one out for a hipper Hotmail or Gmail account.

Nor do I text.

Recently, I was trying to think of some advice to give my nephew, who plans to return to school after a few years of Army training. It occurred to me that before he was born, his mother and I took college computer courses with an eye to furthering our chosen careers. We took these courses ten years apart; she learned how to punch Hollerith cards, and my computer graphics instructor spent what I thought even then to be an inordinate amount of time teaching us dBaseIII.

Both skill sets were obsolete within a matter of months.

So what's my advice? Yeah, sure, take those computer and technical courses with an eye for getting a job after graduation. But don't overlook those liberal arts courses, and save time in your courseload for stuff you're interested in purely because you're interested in it. Unless you become the next Steve Case, Mark Zuckerberg, or Evan Spiegel, you're going to have to change careers several times in your life as the job market shifts beneath your feet; and being able to carry on an intelligent conversation will serve you better than any single skill that employers might happen to be looking for this week.

And remember: nobody likes a jerk. On either side of the punch bowl.

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