Saturday, May 17, 2008


Congratulations graduates of 2008 today! Hopefully your graduation speaker will be better than Ted Koppel at mine last year. Don't get me wrong, I was super excited for Koppel to speak, being a USC journalism major and all, but I've never heard a more cynical speech in my life! Granted there were rumors that Paul McCartney would be the speaker, so anyone else was a disappointment anyways, but what I took from the speech is that no madder what we do to help in the world it isn't good enough unless we move away to Africa and commit our lives to helping the poor.

I've always believed that you try to be the best person you can be, you do what is manageable in your life and anything you can do to help is better than nothing at all. Clint Eastwood was getting an honorary degree that year and everyone in my class was screaming, "Speech, speech, speech!" when Eastwood came up. We were so over Koppel. It didn't work though. Eastwood said nothing.

L.A. Times writer Steve Lopez was the speaker at the journalism section of my graduation and he was fantastic. I'm a huge fan of his columns. He more than made up for Koppel's speech.

For all of those who are scared, nervous or unsure on this graduation day, don't fret. I just graduated a year ago and it's so crazy to think that just a year ago there were so many unknowns. Most of my friends from journalism school were moving away to a small town to be producers and reporters at small networks, but I knew that wasn't for me. I was leaving for Europe for a couple months, hadn't really saved enough money and when I got back I would be moving home with the parentals.

There was one song I listened to over and over and over that week. It's a song by Teddy Geiger called "These Walls." I would scream it at the top of my lungs in my car, "Even when I'm scared I have to try to fly/ Sometimes I fall but I've seen it done before/ I got to step outside these walls!"

So for any graduates who are feeling the same way, listen to the song. As I've learned, everything happens for a reason whether you see it now or not. I got back from Europe, won a Rolling Stone contest and got a job at E!. It all works out in the end. Don't be afraid to step outside the walls ... sounds cheesy but sometimes life is cheesy too.

Check out lyrics and listen to "These Walls."