Steve Jobs Stanford Commencement Speaker
By Matt Roberts
Stanford University graduates had the pleasure of listening to stories about overcoming adversity and leading to success from one of the most successful business men in recent history.
Steve Jobs, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of Apple Inc. and Pixar Animation Studios, was the guest speaker at Stanford University’s 114th annual Commencement Ceremony today.
After cracking a few jokes about how he was a college dropout and how the Stanford Commencement Ceremony was the closest he’s been to a college graduation, the 50-year-old entrepreneur proceeded with wonderful lessons from his own life that he hopes will serve the graduates well in the future.
His first story entitled “Connecting the Dots” told the crowd about his life growing up, his struggles in college and how they led to his success at Apple Inc. Jobs started his collegiate studies at Reed College in Portland, Oregon. After realizing that he had no idea what he wanted to do with his life, Jobs dropped out with the intent of saving money.
He had to trust that it was the right decision to make for his future. Instead of enrolling in required classes that didn’t interest him, he enrolled in classes that had his interest, which included a Calligraphy class. Learning about typography and typefaces eventually helped him in designing the setup of the first Macintosh computer.
The lesson learned in Jobs’ ‘Connecting the Dots’ story is to trust and follow what you believe is best for you.
“Believing that the dots will connect somewhere down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart even when it leads you off the well-worn path,” Jobs said.
Jobs called his second story ‘Love and Loss’. He shared his story about how he and Steve Wozniak co-founded Apple Inc. and designed the first Apple computers in the late 1970’s, then how he got fired from the very company that he helped start.
After what Jobs called a devastating few months, he realized that his firing may have been a blessing. He was free to do other things like starting NeXT Inc., Pixar and meeting his wife. The message of the story is to love what you do.
“I’m pretty sure none of this would’ve happened if I hadn’t been fired from Apple. It was awful-tasting medicine, but the patient needed it,” Jobs said. “Sometimes life is going to hit you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith.”
Jobs’ last story is about death. After going through a cancer diagnosis, his view on life drastically changed. He wants us to live life with it in mind that we will all die soon.
“All external expectations, all pride, all fear and embarrassment and failure, these things just fall away in the face of death, remembering what’s important,” Jobs said.
He believes that if you follow your heart and intuition, they know what you truly want to become.
“Stay hungry, stay foolish,” Jobs said.
Jobs wants all of the Stanford University graduates to follow their hearts and trust their instincts, and they must have faith that once all of the dots in their lives connect, they will doing something that they love.
UWW Baseball Team Hosts Clinics
Every year, the UW-Whitewater baseball team puts on clinics for area youth to learn the game of baseball. This past Sunday displayed how popular the clinics really are.
Led by UWW Head Baseball Coach John Vodenlich, all clinics have reached the maximum amount of participants the last four years. He believes a big part of their success is a result of having a low camper to coach ratio.
“I truly believe we run the best camps not only in the state, but throughout the entire Midwest,” Vodenlich said at the camps this past Sunday. “One thing parents want is individual instruction for their kids. We typically have no more than a 2:1 camper to coach ratio.”
Vodenlich also believes that the camps wouldn’t be as successful without his players, who won the NCAA Division III National Championship a year ago.
“We have a great group of young men. I get compliments from the parents all the time about how impressed they are with our players and how they go about their business interacting with the kids and teaching them the game,” Vodenlich said.
Those players sacrifice much of their free time, sometimes holidays, to coach these camps. The camps run every year the first two days after Thanksgiving, Dec. 27-31, and the first three Sundays in March.
“Some guys don’t even go home for Thanksgiving,” senior catcher Mike Mierow said. “We have a couple of guys who live five to six hours from Whitewater, so they don’t even make the drive home and they just stay for camps.”
According to Vodenlich, the sacrifices that the players make to work the camps are what enables the team to travel in the spring.
*“Our budget is $35,000,” Vodenlich said. “Our spring trip to Florida alone is $36,000. So we’re already in the hole before we even start playing our conference season. We really depend on these camps to help in a big way for us to make it through the season financially.”
Senior outfielder Trey Cannon believes that the sacrifices the players make are worth it and even helps the Warhawks on the field.
“If we don’t have these camps, we have to pay our money out of pocket to fund our Florida trip. Not many of us can afford it,” Cannon said. “With all of the sacrifices our team makes throughout the year, it really makes us play harder and better once the games start.”
Imagine living by yourself in high school. You can throw parties whenever you want, have any of your friends come over, and you can just plain old do whatever you want. With all of the perks though, comes a lot of responsibility. You have to do all of your laundry, cooking, cleaning, and all of the household chores by yourself.
For two years, Mike Nompleggi lived that life. Growing up in Oconto Falls, Wisconsin, Nompleggi’s mother worked for the Navy. She would spend numerous time on the road working out of the state of Wisconsin. With a father that was never really a part of his life, Nompleggi’s step-father lived in Waukesha, Wisconsin.
During Nompleggi’s first two years of high school, he lived with his grandmother and grandfather. After two years, Nompleggi moved back into his home in Oconto Falls and lived on his own. He was responsible for his everyday laundry, cooking, and cleaning duties, but he never did what the typical high school kid would have done. He never threw a party.
“I never threw a party. My mom didn’t want me to, and I respected her too much to disobey her request,” Nompleggi said. He was fortunate enough to have his grandparents to lean on when he needed the help.
“My grandma would cook for me every once in a while. She would make a dish for me that would last a few meals. I know she did it out of love, but I would still go over to her house and cut her grass in return. If my grandparents needed any help around the house, I would go over there and help,” Nompleggi said.
Nompleggi’s mother, Tammy, would come home on the weekends. Sometimes she would come home every weekend, sometimes it was every other weekend. Nompleggi, a pitcher for the UW-Whitewater baseball team, tributes his mother for teaching him how to play the game and getting him to where he is today.
“It made me grow up faster than the normal high school kids. It definitely prepared me better for college and living on my own. I have no ill feelings about it. My mom did whatever she could to provide for her and myself,” Nompleggi said. “I’m fortunate to have a family that cares so much and does whatever they can for me to succeed in whatever I do.”
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