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Comments on In the Middle: And now on Jumbotron





Updated: 2017-12-10T13:02:52.245-05:00

 



In a day when most commencement speeches are about...

2009-05-21T23:45:47.416-04:00

In a day when most commencement speeches are about politics, fame, or financial capital, it is really wonderful to see you engage in such a warm and pleasurable opportunity, and of course your words graced the ceremony. To echo Wynken de worde, "mazel tov!" Have fun in the Keys!



I let them know that I'd been told not to worry, b...

2009-05-19T09:49:00.000-04:00

I let them know that I'd been told not to worry, because no one would be listening to me anyway: they also found that amusing, so perhaps they were attending.Ha! That's exactly how you get them to listen. Well done.

And the student-newspaper headline is priceless.






I really enjoyed this post, Jeffrey, especially re...

2009-05-17T23:24:00.000-04:00

I really enjoyed this post, Jeffrey, especially reading it only a few hours after attending graduation ceremonies at my own institution. Those ceremonies were quite different from the ones you describe, of course. No jumbotron. 700 attendees, rather than 5000. And the degrees were Associate of Arts or Associate of Science; indeed, a few students were graduating with certificates of completion for specific vocational programs. But the point was the same. And, at least in my opinion, so was the potential.

Most of my colleagues are cynical about graduation. They complain, for example, about having to schlep over to the local high school; our own auditorium isn't large enough to hold all of the family members who attend. But my colleagues are missing the point, of course. The fact that so many people attend a community college graduation ceremony may seem silly to those of us with Ph.D.s from nationally known universities. But I think it's absolutely wonderful. I love the shouts and air horns from the crowd. I love when the students crossing the stage stop to smile and wave at a faculty member with whom they made some connection. I love when they cry. Yeah, it's just community college, but that's what makes the emotion so remarkable.

Anyway, thank you for encapsulating so beautifully what it feels like to be a part of that kind of potential.



Oops: that was Tolstoy who wrote "The Death of Iva...

2009-05-17T17:24:00.000-04:00

Oops: that was Tolstoy who wrote "The Death of Ivan Illich," not Dostoevsky! Sorry, Tolstory, or Dostoevsky [or whoever]! And thanks to Marty Shichtman for reminding me of this.



I have read Jones's book and that passage never ce...

2009-05-17T12:26:00.000-04:00

I have read Jones's book and that passage never ceases to stop and wound, and also, amaze my heart. It takes my breath away again and again, and thanks for reminding me of it, and what an appropriate passage to share as well, given the remarks you wanted to make. You did a much better service to your students than the professor who gave such remarks to my College when I received my MFA. It is actually funny in retrospect, but he had obviously been having a bad sort of year and decided that he should do a kind of "life, as well as the universe, is meaningless and pointless, so good luck with that," and he quoted from Dostoevsky's "The Death of Ivan Illich." The parents were in shock. But hey, we got over it.



That's lovely, Jeffrey. Your insomnia did you good...

2009-05-17T12:08:00.000-04:00

That's lovely, Jeffrey. Your insomnia did you good. Mazel tov.