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Morgan Hill
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December 10, 2023

Guest view: One thing at a time…

Welcome Members of the Morgan Hill Unified Board of Trustees, Principal Sage, Graduates, Parents, Guardians, Guests and Faculty to our 2022 Ann Sobrato High School Graduation ceremony. My name is Carmen García, Superintendent of the Morgan Hill Unified School District.  

Class of 2022, It is an honor and a privilege to congratulate each and every one of you tonight. For each of you, this celebration is the pinnacle of your K-12 academic journey that started 12- 13 years ago and culminates in a high school diploma tonight—a wonderful accomplishment! 

While your journey has been anything but typical or ordinary throughout high school, I’d like to offer a small piece of advice before you head off to college, or start your next job, or join the armed forces, or take a gap year, or begin to travel. It’s a simple question, really: Have you washed your breakfast bowl? 

Allow me to explain by sharing a famous dialogue from ancient Zen Chinese literature that goes like this: 

A monk arrives at the monastery and says to the teacher, “I’ve arrived. Please give me your teaching.” 

The teacher says, “Have you eaten your breakfast?” 

The monk responds, “Yes, I have.” 

The teacher says, “Wash your bowl.” 

The monk understood. 

Over the years, this story has been interpreted as a metaphor for many things—take care of things in the moment, reset back to neutral, be prepared for the next task, just to name a few. 

But I’d like to offer a different interpretation: Take one thing at a time with a clear, present mind and do what comes next, naturally.

It’s easy for us—for all of us—to get caught up in what’s coming or worrying about the next thing to do or say that we don’t always fully enjoy the things right in front of us—in the present—because we’re trying to anticipate the future. It’s a balance of sorts: prepare for the future but don’t forget to enjoy the journey along the way. 

As you move on from high school, I ask that you continue to be compassionate young people who help to create a better, more just and peaceful world, lifelong learners who understand others, and risk-takers willing to stand up for what’s right. I’m proud of you and I know you will accomplish great feats. 

To our Parents, Guardians, and Family Members—tonight’s celebration is twofold. We celebrate the academic accomplishments of our students that is crowned in their high school graduation, but we also celebrate you for your unwavering support throughout our students’ personal and academic journeys, your countless volunteer hours, and your invaluable ideas that will help us create a better educational experience for the future generations of MHUSD students. Thank you! 

Class of 2022, before you know it, today will be a distant memory…so be present and relish every second of it! 

Congratulations, Class of 2022! GO BULLDOGS!

Dr. Carmen Garcia is Superintendent of the Morgan Hill Unified School District. She delivered the above comments at the June 3 Sobrato High School Class of 2022 commencement ceremony. Garcia also spoke at graduation ceremonies for Live Oak and Central high schools, as well as the MHUSD Adult School graduation. 

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