Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Graduation Time

It was a three-hour ceremony, at Rackham auditorium.  On the way in, my father mentioned that Rackham was the first campus building he went in to, when he came to the University in 1944 to learn Japanese.  Back then, he was helping make the world safe for democracy.

During the ceremony, students played music three times.  There were two student-produced video presentations, mostly candid yearbook-type pictures, and some short video clips.  Some students may have wished that their parents hadn't seen those, but I enjoyed every second.  

No valedictorian.  Instead, every student had 30 seconds to say whatever they wanted.  That's good, because most speeches have only 30 seconds of memorable -- or even meaningful -- content, anyway.  

They should have given the same limit to the administrators.

Kevin didn't write down what he said, so he couldn't give me a copy afterward.  The gist of what he said: the first thing most people do when they become free, is to find someone else to bow down to.  He exhorted his fellow students to go out and prove that wrong.

Pretty cool.  During a lot of the student mini-speeches, other kids in the audience made a lot of noise.  Everyone was quiet when Kevin spoke; they obviously respect him and wanted to hear what he had to say.  

I hope the parents and teachers listened, so they, too, will help make the world safe for democracy.