I now realize what a close call I had at my graduation

One student graduating from Grand Valley State University (in Michigan) made it big this evening with a shoutout from Anonymous:

The graduation — which originally transpired on December 8 — reminded me a lot of my own: from the parade of students down to the man and woman switching off with the names they’ve never read before in their lives. That’s never a recipe for something good.

At GVSU, the card-reader card-read with surprising fidelity — but it didn’t have to be that way. In May 2010, my graduation readers had some difficulty with even the simplest names; no “Emily” or “Jacob” was too common or too simple for them to read error-free.

As the butchered names were ticked off slowly, one by one, I naturally expected the worst. A librarian once read my name “Malikai”, and she reads for a living! Fortunately, because the name-mangling was so predictable, I had taken special pains to communicate just how to pronounce the “ch.” And in the end, it paid off: my name came out perfect, largely thanks to my crystal-clear clarification — even down to the proper Ḥ:


But if I’d been blessed with Kelsie’s reader at GVSU — that is, with someone who reads first and thinks later — I might have been in trouble. I imagine “ch as in choot-spa” would not have gone over well with my assembled family members (assuming, of course, that they could hear anything at all — looking at you, Grandpa!).

So thank you, Kelsie, both for being frick-en-awesome, and for helping me come to appreciate my card-reader’s competence more than I already did. And congrats on graduating. You’ll go far, kid.


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