Saturday, July 23, 2005 | These are the days when graduations dot the landscape of San Diego, where kids who wear shorts or jeans most of the time, or jackets that never match their pants, come together to hear faculty tell them how great they really were. It’s like a memorial service where you never say anything bad about the recently passed away. This is a much happier time, when the youngster says goodbye for the summer, is praised and fed, and gets to share this with family.

I attended the graduation of the first class of the unique University of San Diego Masters of Science degree in real estate. It was first class all the way. USD provides a setting that brings spirit and architecture together in creative harmony that must rub off on those fortunate enough to experience it.

I was especially fulfilled to hear a couple of grads praise my coaching and love from the stage. I met happy grandmas and parents and siblings, who shared a real setting for love and tomorrow-land. It was San Diego’s today and future at its finest.

The irony of it was evident in some other youngsters, elsewhere, who were being analyzed, described and prescribed – home-born Englishmen who had blown up neighbors, strangers and young and old in the name of a god of intensity, which had taken over all other young values. In their actions was hidden the true costs, and journalists described the young men as otherwise normal and happy, even liked by their neighbors – much like a serial killer is always described by neighbors as “quiet and well-mannered.”

The hidden costs will be the rising insurance expenses, the expansion of private security firms, the emotional residues no matter where we live or travel. There will be climbing tension in the formerly mundane, even at Padres and Chargers games. And this tension won’t stem from the opposing pitcher or quarterback.

So as we watch the meltdown in Australia’s and Denver’s housing markets and think about when that might occur nearby, we have something else out of our personal control, but never out of mind, again, how different young minds will be and what will influence their values.

Sanford “Sandy” Goodkin is acting chairman of Civic Solutions, a group of leaders who analyze San Diego’s problems, prioritize them and search for solutions, representing diverse points of view. He is a trustee of the Urban Land Institute and is a pioneer of residential market and marketing analysis. Read his real estate columns at

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