Monday, May 16, 2005

I went to commencement, and a training broke out 

More on the commencement speech I mentioned yesterday, from alum and MOB member Kevin Ecker.

Attended my sisters graduation yesterday at St. Cloud State University (SCSU). It was an event whose feeling was tarnished by the commencement speech. ...

I suppose I should have been on my guard when she started by saying that she wasn't going to give a speech, but rather it was going to be an interactive "conversation". It was anything but that...rather a lecture to all of us.

Like any good speaker, she started out by alienating half her audience. She did this by having "students of color" and "international students" stand up and then essentially lectured us how only these students had to work for their degree. ...

Then she discussed her trip to South Africa. No lesson in this part of the speech. Nothing inspirational. She just wants to take about how much better South Africa is than the United States. After all, people actually work there!! In the US we're just too damn lazy and too concerned about how we look. The fact that she is surrounded by farm country, USA didn't seem to register.

That's one of those interesting things about diversity at American campuses: It's all about having majority students learning from minority students. There is no attempt for minority students to learn from their experience in a majority environment. Yet we attempt to recruit from high schools that are greater than 50% students of color.

I do find it remarkable that none of these aspects of the commencement speech made it into the Times' story.