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Brandeis Commencement. G-d Help Us All

 

OK. So we did the right thing and drove in to watch @ishottheserif graduate. Woohoo!

The downside is that I had to watch a speech. And not just any speech. Brandeis does speeches by and for the lousy students, not the valedictorians. Go, mediocrity! The thing about this particular speech is that the speaker was simply fantastic. He had more confidence and stage presence than anyone his age I have ever seen. Really tremendous — I was awed.

There was one very wonderful moment: see from 3:59 – 6:05 on this link.

But otherwise, the speech was so incredibly awful. Word salads and awful songs and identity politics. I was embarrassed to be there, embarrassed for the institution and for the students and faculty. All that potential wasted.

All I can say to @ishotheserif: I am so very deeply impressed that you survived an entire college career while putting up with this rank idiocy. Congratulations!

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There are 33 comments.

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  1. Member

    The scariest thing about the speech wasn’t that he held the audience’s attention, nor that he was able to get the crowd to act on his instructions.

    The scariest thing was the stupidity of the content and how the audience, almost entirely college graduates, didn’t care.

    • #1
    • May 14, 2018 at 7:36 pm
    • 13 likes
  2. Member

    Congratulations.

    I hope you earned some waffles. :-)

    • #2
    • May 14, 2018 at 7:53 pm
    • 4 likes
  3. Thatcher

    Heartfelt congratulations, and felicitations to you, @ishottheserif! And commiserations to you, @iwe. I sat through the unbelievably emotive and fatuous “faculty response” to the personally engaging, well-delivered “student speech” (no valedictorian here, thank you) at my niece’s graduation ceremony two weeks ago. She attended a state university’s branch campus here. I’m amazed her compassionate, outgoing, other-focused personality came through intact. Thanks be…

    • #3
    • May 14, 2018 at 8:18 pm
    • 8 likes
  4. Member

    As alternative approaches to higher education rise, this nonsense is becoming a niche market for those with more money than sense. I’ve heard some of the debriefs from interviews with graduated computer science majors and it is tragic that most of these people graduated and horrifying that they will find work.

    Of course, given the right intersectionality management will have a very costly consultant sit down with a coder who cannot wrap his frontal lobes around how a loop works (nothing fancy, just a while or an until with a simple control variable). For however many days it takes.

    For the nontechnical, yes this absolute bedrock, elementary, first week stuff. And you probably followed what I said better than he did.

    Congrats, @ishottheserif! Are you targeting postgraduate school, the real world, or something more exotic?

    • #4
    • May 14, 2018 at 9:04 pm
    • 6 likes
  5. Member

    Sisyphus (View Comment):
    Congrats, @ishottheserif! Are you targeting postgraduate school, the real world, or something more exotic?

    I am going for matrimony and employment. So far the former is arranged but the latter is not.

    • #5
    • May 14, 2018 at 9:13 pm
    • 25 likes
  6. Member

    I Shot The Serif (View Comment):

    Sisyphus (View Comment):
    Congrats, @ishottheserif! Are you targeting postgraduate school, the real world, or something more exotic?

    I am going for matrimony and employment. So far the former is arranged but the latter is not.

    I wish you all the best with both.

    • #6
    • May 14, 2018 at 9:25 pm
    • 11 likes
  7. Member

    I Shot The Serif (View Comment):

    Sisyphus (View Comment):
    Congrats, @ishottheserif! Are you targeting postgraduate school, the real world, or something more exotic?

    I am going for matrimony and employment. So far the former is arranged but the latter is not.

    Important things first.

    • #7
    • May 14, 2018 at 9:52 pm
    • 9 likes
  8. Member

    I Shot The Serif (View Comment):

    Sisyphus (View Comment):
    Congrats, @ishottheserif! Are you targeting postgraduate school, the real world, or something more exotic?

    I am going for matrimony and employment. So far the former is arranged but the latter is not.

    How quaint @ishottheserif. You give me hope. Be sure to multiply so there will be more on our side.

     

    • #8
    • May 14, 2018 at 10:44 pm
    • 12 likes
  9. Member

    kidCoder (View Comment):

    The scariest thing about the speech wasn’t that he held the audience’s attention, nor that he was able to get the crowd to act on his instructions.

    The scariest thing was the stupidity of the content and how the audience, almost entirely college graduates, didn’t care.

    Unless they not only banned cell phones, but had cell phone blockers (twice I unconsciously–or perhaps astutely–started typing “self-phones”), and put tape over the attendees’ mouths, I can guarantee no one was listening. Speeches are so 18th-Century, man.

    And if they missed anything, it was sure to be on YouTube, anyway.

    • #9
    • May 14, 2018 at 11:08 pm
    • 1 like
  10. Member

    dnewlander (View Comment):

    kidCoder (View Comment):

    The scariest thing about the speech wasn’t that he held the audience’s attention, nor that he was able to get the crowd to act on his instructions.

    The scariest thing was the stupidity of the content and how the audience, almost entirely college graduates, didn’t care.

    Unless they not only banned cell phones, but had cell phone blockers (twice I unconsciously–or perhaps astutely–started typing “self-phones”), and put tape over the attendees’ mouths, I can guarantee no one was listening. Speeches are so 18th-Century, man.

    And if they missed anything, it was sure to be on YouTube, anyway.

    I was there.

    The audience was very much paying attention.

    • #10
    • May 14, 2018 at 11:21 pm
    • 6 likes
  11. Member

    Congratulations, Serif.

    • #11
    • May 14, 2018 at 11:32 pm
    • 6 likes
  12. Contributor

    I Shot The Serif (View Comment):

    Sisyphus (View Comment):
    Congrats, @ishottheserif! Are you targeting postgraduate school, the real world, or something more exotic?

    I am going for matrimony and employment. So far the former is arranged but the latter is not.

    Big congratulations, @ishottheserif! And another big day just ahead!!!

    • #12
    • May 15, 2018 at 8:10 am
    • 5 likes
  13. Contributor

    Thank you for sharing the moment, @we. It was sweet and genuine. And it’s also good to know you were able to witness serif’s big moment. Yippee!

    • #13
    • May 15, 2018 at 8:11 am
    • 3 likes
  14. Member

    The following comment was posted to my class Facebook group and met with much virtual applause.

     

    I just wanted to say to our non-binary Brandeis graduates that you are/were a valuable asset to the community, your identity as people is as real as both cis and trans people who go by he or she, and that you deserve to be congratulated in a way that includes you, with seriousness and respect. I was sitting there very sorry that the language used during Commencement multiple times didn’t reflect that in any way. 

    It seemed like we were all just pretending we don’t know gender isn’t as we’ve made it out to be for the longest time, and there aren’t just “men and women,” something that we as a community, though we need to do better clearly, are not unaware of. It would be ridiculous to think that the scholars who spoke don’t know better, so that just makes it more impolite and regressive. 

    Inclusivity isn’t some taboo sex toy you just tuck away in a drawer on special occasions to hide from your uppity relatives who come over to stay in your guest room, and that you take out again when you’re comfortable now that the guests are away. 
    So congrats to all graduates and their families, not just the graduates and their families who we call “men and women.”

     

    • #14
    • May 15, 2018 at 12:37 pm
    • 6 likes
  15. Member

    I Shot The Serif (View Comment):

    The following comment was posted to my class Facebook group and met with much virtual applause.

     

    I just wanted to say to our non-binary Brandeis graduates that you are/were a valuable asset to the community, your identity as people is as real as both cis and trans people who go by he or she, and that you deserve to be congratulated in a way that includes you, with seriousness and respect. I was sitting there very sorry that the language used during Commencement multiple times didn’t reflect that in any way.

    It seemed like we were all just pretending we don’t know gender isn’t as we’ve made it out to be for the longest time, and there aren’t just “men and women,” something that we as a community, though we need to do better clearly, are not unaware of. It would be ridiculous to think that the scholars who spoke don’t know better, so that just makes it more impolite and regressive.

    Inclusivity isn’t some taboo sex toy you just tuck away in a drawer on special occasions to hide from your uppity relatives who come over to stay in your guest room, and that you take out again when you’re comfortable now that the guests are away.
    So congrats to all graduates and their families, not just the graduates and their families who we call “men and women.”

     

    First, mazal tov! May you go from strength to strength.

    Second, while that appalling Facebook comment bears a certain resemblance to the sort of thing that people write shortly before they become too drunk or stoned to type, it’s actually much worse. Being drunk you can sober up from. Getting over being a drunk is a much more difficult process and unfortunately the writer of that piece is in bad shape.

    • #15
    • May 15, 2018 at 1:08 pm
    • 12 likes
  16. Member

    Hearty congratulations to @ishotheserrif. 

    I Shot The Serif (View Comment):
    So congrats to all graduates and their families, not just the graduates and their families who we call “men and women.”

    These folks make a valid point, and make it, and make it, and make it…. Of course if gender is fluid (whereas genes are not) and if people feel themselves gendered differently or suffer from dysmorphia the rest of us welcome them, but that doesn’t mean we have to mention them or their situation every time we propose a toast or address an audience. Our habits and prejudices in that regard will change, if they even do, slowly. Meantime these folks have condemned themselves to be perpetual nags and annoyances, constantly scolding the majority for its use of pronouns and the like. Maybe they are Socratic gadflies, and maybe they are just ordinary blue bellied flies at their favorite meal. Here is a similar example: https://www.chronicle.com/article/He-Makes-a-Joke-She-Isn-t/243350

     

     

    • #16
    • May 15, 2018 at 1:50 pm
    • 2 likes
  17. Member

    This is me gagging.

    • #17
    • May 15, 2018 at 3:14 pm
    • 3 likes
  18. Thatcher

    Congratulations Serif! I usually try to avoid speaking for others, but based on your contributions to Ricochet, we all have confidence in you and high expectations for you.

    • #18
    • May 15, 2018 at 3:56 pm
    • 6 likes
  19. Thatcher

    I Shot The Serif (View Comment):
    Inclusivity isn’t some taboo sex toy you just tuck away in a drawer on special occasions to hide from your uppity relatives who come over to stay in your guest room, and that you take out again when you’re comfortable now that the guests are away

    That’s a whole lot of detail. Just sayin’.

    • #19
    • May 15, 2018 at 3:58 pm
    • 2 likes
  20. Member

    Chuck Enfield (View Comment):

    I Shot The Serif (View Comment):
    Inclusivity isn’t some taboo sex toy you just tuck away in a drawer on special occasions to hide from your uppity relatives who come over to stay in your guest room, and that you take out again when you’re comfortable now that the guests are away

    That’s a whole lot of detail. Just sayin’.

    It was also…confusing.

    • #20
    • May 15, 2018 at 4:10 pm
    • 9 likes
  21. Thatcher

    I Shot The Serif (View Comment):

    The following comment was posted to my class Facebook group and met with much virtual applause.

    I just wanted to say to our non-binary Brandeis graduates that you are/were a valuable asset to the community, your identity as people is as real as both cis and trans people who go by he or she, and that you deserve to be congratulated in a way that includes you, with seriousness and respect. I was sitting there very sorry that the language used during Commencement multiple times didn’t reflect that in any way.

    It seemed like we were all just pretending we don’t know gender isn’t as we’ve made it out to be for the longest time, and there aren’t just “men and women,” something that we as a community, though we need to do better clearly, are not unaware of. It would be ridiculous to think that the scholars who spoke don’t know better, so that just makes it more impolite and regressive.

    Inclusivity isn’t some taboo sex toy you just tuck away in a drawer on special occasions to hide from your uppity relatives who come over to stay in your guest room, and that you take out again when you’re comfortable now that the guests are away.
    So congrats to all graduates and their families, not just the graduates and their families who we call “men and women.”

    I just read a bunch about Tom Wolfe over on Drudge, most of it marvelling at his amazing way with words. (I concur.)

    Then I come over to Ricochet and I read this. Ouch. My brain hurts. Literary whiplash.

    I read it twice, the second time slowly, trying to figure out what he was getting at. Gave up.

    • #21
    • May 15, 2018 at 4:26 pm
    • 6 likes
  22. Reagan
    iWe Post author

    Bruce Caward (View Comment):
    I read it twice, the second time slowly, trying to figure out what he was getting at. Gave up.

    Wimp. Real men watch the whole video.

    Go on. I dare you.

    • #22
    • May 15, 2018 at 5:51 pm
    • 5 likes
  23. Reagan
    iWe Post author

    Bruce Caward (View Comment):
    I read it twice, the second time slowly, trying to figure out what he was getting at

    “He” may be any of these. And to presume otherwise is violence.

    • #23
    • May 15, 2018 at 6:30 pm
    • 4 likes
  24. Thatcher

    iWe (View Comment):
    “He” may be any of these. And to presume otherwise is violence.

    Eeeekkkk, @iwe! Good thing I’m sitting down; otherwise, I’d be dizzy.

    • #24
    • May 15, 2018 at 6:41 pm
    • 2 likes
  25. Thatcher

    iWe (View Comment):

    Bruce Caward (View Comment):
    I read it twice, the second time slowly, trying to figure out what he was getting at

    “He” may be any of these. And to presume otherwise is violence.

    That’s reassuring. Now I know why college costs so much these days.

    • #25
    • May 15, 2018 at 6:51 pm
    • 5 likes
  26. Thatcher

    iWe: All I can say to @ishotheserif: I am so very deeply impressed that you survived an entire college career while putting up with this rank idiocy. Congratulations!

    I second this motion. Congrats, @ishottheserif! I’m not sure I would survive on a college campus these days . . .

    • #26
    • May 16, 2018 at 8:30 am
    • Like
  27. Thatcher

    Stad (View Comment):

    I’m not sure I would survive on a college campus these days . . .

    I know what you mean. 20 year old girls in yoga pants don’t help my heart condition.

    • #27
    • May 16, 2018 at 9:21 am
    • 3 likes
  28. Member

    Chuck Enfield (View Comment):
    20 year old girls in yoga pants don’t help my heart condition.

    Hmmn, heart rate at 51 beats per minute…they might help my heart condition.

    • #28
    • May 16, 2018 at 9:31 am
    • 1 like
  29. Member

    I Shot The Serif The following comment was posted to my class Facebook group and met with much virtual applause.

    As my Irish mother used to say when she was completely flabbergasted, “Holy, Mary, Mother of G-d!”.

    Congratulation and felicitations,  I Shot The Serif, you make us proud.

    P.S. ,Nanda Pajama-Tantrum , I love your new avatar.

    • #29
    • May 17, 2018 at 8:42 pm
    • 2 likes
  30. Thatcher

    jeannebodine (View Comment):

    I Shot The Serif The following comment was posted to my class Facebook group and met with much virtual applause.

    As my Irish mother used to say when she was completely flabbergasted, “Holy, Mary, Mother of G-d!”.

    Congratulation and felicitations, I Shot The Serif, you make us proud.

    P.S. ,Nanda Pajama-Tantrum , I love your new avatar.

    @jeannebodine, my German-French mother said that, too. :-) Serif is a joy and credit to us all, indeed! 

    P.S. The avatar is a gift of friendship from the lovely and talented @rightangles; the gift of an alternate screen-name was bestowed by that truly ragin’ Cajun, Mr. Alphonse Fontenot, several years ago – and relayed to me by @davecarter. I’m glad you enjoy the new combination: I’m having fun with it, too! 

    • #30
    • May 17, 2018 at 9:06 pm
    • 3 likes
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