Saturday, June 07, 2008

J. K. Rowling commencement address

Be sure to check out J. K. Rowling's Harvard Commencement speech:

UPDATE: Check out this Morning Edition story on Harvard students unhappy with her selection. One can only hope they experience failure the failure recommended by Rowling.


Blogger larxol said...

More proof that Tim is part of the international cabal of billionaire classics majors.

6/08/2008 9:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Since I'm "in" academia, I've heard a lot of commencement addresses. This was one of the best I've heard (I'm at Harvard, so I got to hear her live).

Check out this NPR story on how some of our (never satisfied) seniors would have preferred a bigger name (without acknowledging the implied lesser speech).

6/08/2008 10:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"'I think we could have done better,' shrugged computer science major Kevin Bombino. He says Rowling lacks the gravitas a Harvard commencement speaker should have.

"You know, we're Harvard. We're like the most prominent national institution. And I think we should be entitled to … we should be able to get anyone. And in my opinion, we're settling here."

What a miserable fuck this guy sounds like.

6/09/2008 1:17 AM  
Blogger Nate said...

I'm anonymous number one here.

Actually, we have a fair number of students like that guy. I've talked with a number of our seniors. Not all are like that, but many of the speeches here this week tried to emphasize to them that they should follow their hearts, not the money of the financial services industry. (Something like 70 percent of our students at least apply for consulting, i-banking, hedge fund sorts of jobs.)

I'm rooting for their failure. I know they'll eventually learn what their teachers, parents, and predecessors know and what she said: more can be learned from failure than success.

6/09/2008 7:44 AM  
Blogger Berko Shemets said...

It should be noted that Harvard grads weren't the only ones unhappy with their commencement speaker: Northwestern had Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley and students felt he wasn't "big" enough (they wanted Obama).


My commencement speakers were always lame, so maybe they should STFU.

6/09/2008 3:34 PM  
Blogger Lilithcat said...

A few years ago, there was a bit of a brouhaha at the University of Chicago when President Clinton was invited to give the commencement address. Not because of any objection to him personally, but because the speaker is traditionally a member of the University community. I believe the objection was met by having a professor give an additional address.

6/09/2008 4:00 PM  
Anonymous markell said...

Great address.

Nate: I'm with you (got my Ph.D. from Harvard and remain bemused at best by its overweening sense of its own superiority) -- but it's too bad that "failure" for a high roller in the financial services industry so often hurts ordinary investors, homeowners, etc. at least as much as the major players, who have a lot more powerful people and agencies ready to bail them out.

Lilithcat: Clinton was a year before I arrived, but wasn't the issue further complicated by the fact that Clinton had basically invited himself? Also, I think the critics were placated not just by having a second speaker, but also by the U of C's refusal to give Bill an honorary degree.

6/12/2008 12:43 PM  

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