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  #1  
June 7th, 2007, 02:58 PM
kadydid
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Quote:
Thanks so much for inviting me to share this day with you. I’d like to start by saluting the parents here. What I want to know is: After paying tuition for four years, how did you manage to get here today – by Greyhound?

I’d also like to acknowledge another group of people for their contribution to higher education. It’s not just the faculty and administrators who make education possible, you know. Everyone who works on campus plays a role, and I mean the custodians, the maintenance workers, the food service staff, the clerical workers, and the security staff. Let’s give them a big round of applause!

Now I want to thank you so much for this honorary degree. Maybe, I’ll finally be able to get a decent job!

Of course I’m hoping that all of you graduates will also find decent jobs – meaning jobs that are fascinating, challenging and compatible with your ideals. I know that won’t be easy.

At the moment you accept your diploma today, you will have an average debt of $20,000 and no health insurance. You may be feeling desperate enough to take whatever comes along. Some of you will get caged in cubicles until you’re ejected by the next wave of layoffs. Others – some of the best and brightest of you in fact—will still be behind a counter in Starbucks or Borders three years down the road.

Parents, if that happens to your child, don’t blame him or her, because the sad fact is that the middle class is crumbling under our feet just as these accomplished young people are setting out to find a place in it – destroyed by layoffs and outsourcings and by severe under-funding for vital fields like science, social work, and education. Benefits are evaporating, and job security is a thing of the past.

That’s just one regrettable feature of the world today’s graduates are entering. There are others. Most of you are Americans, meaning that you are citizens of a nation that is busy making enemies much faster than it can kill them.

You know, they say it’s not so easy to get out of Iraq. Well, I have a plan: Thousands of Iraqis flee their country every day. Just find out how they’re getting out and take the same route!

And let me mention the most terrifying feature of the world you are entering: Ever notice how many movies, novels and TV series today are about a post-apocalyptic world? I’m thinking of everything from Cormac McCarthy’s Pulitzer-prize winning novel The Road to the new movie “28 Weeks Later.” Well, there’s a reason for that: Our planet may be becoming less and less inhabitable, at least in any civilized way. And the change will be painfully evident within your lifetimes.

One thing that’s for sure: Our way of life – our gas-guzzling, tree-destroying, extinction-producing way of life – is finished. We have to find a new way of life, and that’s going to be your task. But if I have my say in it, it’ll be one that involves having more fun, while using a lot less stuff.

Look, I’m really sorry about the mess my generation and your parents’ generation is leaving to you: the cruel economy, the bloody quagmire of US foreign and military policy, our threatened habitat. And I just want you to understand that we tried to do better – maybe not enough of us, maybe not hard enough – but we tried. And now you have to try, only with one big difference. For us it was matter of idealism, for you it’s a matter of survival.

So, my final instruction to the class of 07: Go out there and raise hell!

http://ehrenreich.blogs.com/barbaras_blog/...pocalypse_.html[/b]
What do you think of this Haverford College commencement speech? Love it or Hate it?
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  #2  
June 7th, 2007, 03:02 PM
*Aspen*
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Love it!
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  #3  
June 7th, 2007, 03:20 PM
Ms.Michelle
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It makes me sad but it's the truth in so many ways.
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  #4  
June 7th, 2007, 03:23 PM
donomama
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Wow, what a downer. Most of it is true, but I wouldn't have wanted to hear it at my graduation ceremony.
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  #5  
June 7th, 2007, 10:18 PM
*kyle*'s Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Chicagoland
Posts: 5,117
All I could think was, "I WISH I only had $20,000 in student loans."

I'm not usually a fan of monopolizing a pulpit to spout unrelated ideas, so at first it annoyed me that the Iraq war was being preached (even though I too disagree with it). However, it became an effective wake-up call by the end. These are Harvard graduates, of the generation that will have to deal with the mess being caused right now throughout the world. I can see why this speaker didn't want to just stand up there blowing sunshine up their skirts. I hope it motivates some future leaders to take action.
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  #6  
June 7th, 2007, 11:03 PM
Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: ohio
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love it.
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  #7  
June 7th, 2007, 11:55 PM
picklesmama's Avatar <;,><
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Posts: 22,604
That was great - too bad it's so sad and true
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  #8  
June 8th, 2007, 07:19 AM
*Aspen*
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It is sad, but I wouldn't mind hearing it at my ceremony. I think when a lot of people graduate, they think they are on the top of the world and going to be millionares because they have a college degree. This kind of brings them back down to Earth and reminds them that they still need to work their butts off and stay on course to get to where that diploma will take them kwim?
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  #9  
June 8th, 2007, 07:24 AM
glasscandie's Avatar What I make is what I am
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Near Washington, DC
Posts: 15,982
I liked the speech, because most of it's true. However, he's kidding himself if he thinks that a graduation speech is going to make all the graduates wake up and realize "Hey! The next 60 years are going to suck for most of us!". ::shrug:: I would say, it wasn't the best time or place for such a downer of a speech. You'd think for someone who recognized all the not-nice things going on in the world as he so aptly portrayed, he'd appreciate something NICE, like graduating Harvard...
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  #10  
June 8th, 2007, 07:32 AM
donomama
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I would say, it wasn't the best time or place for such a downer of a speech. You'd think for someone who recognized all the not-nice things going on in the world as he so aptly portrayed, he'd appreciate something NICE, like graduating Harvard...[/b]
Yes! It may be true stuff, but graduating college is a major accomplishment. Graduation speeches should be filled with congratulations and telling the kids that they are going to be the ones to cure cancer, solve the Middle East conflict - basically that they can do anything and they are awesome. It is definitely not the time for someone to tell them how much the world sucks.

BTW, it's Haverford College, not Harvard.
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  #11  
June 8th, 2007, 08:07 AM
glasscandie's Avatar What I make is what I am
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Near Washington, DC
Posts: 15,982
Oh, oops lol Serves me right for reading so quickly. I'm on a roll this week, huh?
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  #12  
June 8th, 2007, 10:30 AM
tevinsangel
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I can see all the excited graduates now...hands posed on the side of their mortar boards, ready to throw them up with a big loud WOOHOOOOOO!!!!... "eulogy" ends....everyone looks around, smattering of clapping....cue music....very awkward indeed. Someone must have not had their morning starbucks before making that speech.
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