Monday, June 09, 2008

A Missed Opportunity

J.K. Rowling (pronounced rolling) was the commencement speaker for Harvard this year.

Can I say here how confusing Harvard's graduation exercises are? There is the main ceremony with everyone, then the separate school diploma ceremonies, then everyone gets back together for the Commencement speaker. Not to mention that it's a month after the last day of classes. So weird!

Anyway, I had no urge to hear her speech. I thought she would not be interesting at all. I mean, I loved the books, but they weren't high literature or anything!

Boy was I wrong! Everyone who went said the speech was amazing. She was funny, smart, moving, and inspirational. I had to see it. So of course I went straight to YouTube...and they were right. One of her best lines: while talking about the value of failure she made it clear that she was not advocating being poor.
"Climbing out of poverty by your own efforts, that is something on which to pride yourself. But poverty itself is romanticized only by fools."
That idea was one of the biggest problems I had with TM. As a person who never had to deal with it, he seemed to look down on people who actively tried to avoid it.

Anyway, I know the speech is in three parts, but please check it out. Especially if you hated your graduation speaker. You can listen to this one and claim it as your's that good. 2008 was a great year for commencement speakers.

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