Congratulations to all you graduates out there, one and all. It is an exciting time of year, culminating years of work and stress, hopes and dreams. Last Saturday I was involved in our college's awards and honors ceremony at the Tower Theater, where students received certificates of achievement ranging from paralegal studies to Phi Theta Kappa. I served as the ceremony's name reader (I suppose the organizers think I can effectively pronounce various language's names, which for the most part, I think I can) and it was a great pleasure to read each name as the students began their walk across the stage to shake hands with, among others, the college president.
I also enjoy reading the commencement addresses this time of year. Graduation from a college or university is a major accomplishment, and the commencement speech is an important part of the pomp surrounding such an occasion. Amy King has text of David Foster Wallace's commencement address on her blog, and I am happy to post here, with permission, a link to poet Barbara Jane Reyes' commencement address for UC Berkeley's Ethnic Studies Program. I read it in its entirety, and it's fantastic. I would imagine the graduates felt appropriately charged, inspired, and applauded.
Read the text of her fantastic commencement address here.
Barbara Jane Reyes
Imagining the Angels of Bread and Being Excellent to Each Other:A Sprawling Treatise on Community and Work.
University of California Berkeley
Department of Ethnic Studies
Commencement Ceremony 2006
Friday, May 19, 2006