Tuesday, June 08, 2004

I'd love a letter like that 

The Christian Science Monitor publishes this collection of commencement address clips. Compare and contrast clip one:
College is something you complete. Life is something you experience. So don't worry about your grade or the results or success. Success is defined in myriad ways, and you will find it, and people will no longer be grading you, but it will come from your own internal sense of decency which I imagine, after going through the program here, is quite strong. Although I'm sure downloading illegal files ... but, nah, that's a different story. Love what you do. Get good at it. Competence is a rare commodity in this day and age. And let the chips fall where they may.
...with clip two:
It wasn't such a good idea to have the four 4.0 people up here and then announce all of the other things they are doing besides studying, because when you are a 2.2, you don't have an excuse anymore. When you hear that a 4.0 was doing about nine other things with the community and flying over on weekends to work for Mother Teresa and you are trying to explain to these people, "Well, I want to have a full campus life. I don't want to be a person in the books all day studying." Well those 4.0s don't appear to have done that. As a matter of fact, they had more fun than you had.

All you 2.2s that applauded when you heard 2.2, first thing you need to do is get a paper and pencil and apologize to every professor you ever turned in a paper late to or you tried to argue for a C for the D you got.
Remarkably, late yesterday afternoon I got a note, typed on a very old typewriter, from someone who apologized for his poor performance in class and said he enjoyed it anyway. I wish he had done better.

So who were the quotes from? One of them is Jon Stewart, the other is our old friend Bill Cosby.

Meanwhile, the New York Times titles its collection of commencement quotes "Threats to Rights and Financial Barriers to Poor Are Cited at Graduations". I wonder who will be hardest hit?

UPDATE: Saint Paul notes that Jon Stewart isn't your usual liberal comic. I agree. I found it fascinating to watch him interview Thomas Friedman the other night on his show: it seemed Friedman was playing up his liberal roots, and Stewart was not egging him on, almost discouraging him. Think that would happen with Franken? Then again, would Friedman even DO Frankenet? Also worth noting: Tonight Stewart has David Brooks, and I've watched him interview Jonah Goldberg without a touch of meanness.